“Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant.” (Mark 10:43b)
Service is the measure of greatness.
The world in general finds that statement laughable. Most people believe that greatness is measured by the position you hold in life. That is what we are taught from childhood, and it is the basic model we see all the time. We see models where wealth provides position and influence, so we assume that wealth brings greatness. We see models where political power provides position and influence, so we assume that political positions bring greatness. In most business companies, position is everything. It determines salary, authority and power, so we are taught then to climb the corporate ladder, since that results in greatness. This seems to be the pervasive view in our world.
Thus, the teaching of Jesus about this is completely foreign to our experience in this culture and society and probably in every human culture. But do experience and culture determine what is true or not true? Experience can be a teacher, but it is not necessarily a determiner of truth. Culture may be the expression of values, but it is not a determiner of truth. For believers, Jesus is the Determiner of truth, because He is the way, the truth, and the life.
Jesus tells us that greatness is measured by service – regardless of position. Position is not irrelevant, but it cannot be the determiner of greatness. Position is a tool. Service is the energy required to make the tool work properly. Thus, the only reason for seeking any position is so that we may find opportunity to serve others, not be served.
Lord, Help us today, whatever our position is or may become, to use that as an opportunity to serve You and others. Amen.