Humility and Greatness


Jesus' life proves that service, not accomplishment, leads to greatness.

Matthew 20:20-28

What do you want Christ to do for you? That’s essentially the same question Jesus asked the mother of James and John. Before we look down on her for asking Him to give her sons a place of prominence and authority, we must consider what we would ask of Jesus. Would there be any selfishness in our request?

We are born with a self-centered nature, which remains present even after salvation and comes out in a variety of ways. Furthermore, we live in a culture that clamors for greatness and constantly tells us to assert ourselves so we can move up the ladder of success or get what’s rightfully ours. But what Jesus taught about greatness is the exact opposite: Become a servant to others (Mark 9:35).

True greatness is measured not on earth but in eternity. When we stand before the judgment seat of Christ, He’ll be looking for humility rather than impressive earthly accomplishments. This doesn’t mean Christians should turn down positions of prominence; rather, we should accept such roles as opportunities to be a steward for Christ and a servant of all.

Humble people understand who they are—and who the Lord is. They recognize Him as the source of their life and every possession and ability they have. Their assignment while on earth is to use whatever He has entrusted to them, whether great or small, in a way that glorifies Him and benefits others. Though it’s doubtful anyone will praise us for our humility in this life, we must remember that the reward of a true servant comes only in eternity.

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