Lenten Reader | Day 36


A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. You are those who have stood by me in my trials. And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

- Luke 22:24-30
I live in a world that is obsessed with being the greatest. Everywhere I turn I’m hit with something promising me greatness. Promising me a greater life through the joys of this world; with things that speak of status and power, all so I can have a better life now and can look at the world and proclaim, in my best Ron Burgundy voice, “I’m kind of a big deal, people know me.” But perhaps I haven’t considered something, maybe Jesus doesn’t want me to be great? At least, not in the way this world defines it…

In Luke 22:24-30, Jesus has a much different definition of greatness. As his disciples are arguing over who will be the greatest, he tells them of true greatness. You see, Jesus didn’t define the greatest as someone with status, honor, or power, but rather as someone with childlike faith and humble obedience to go and do the will of the Father.

The greatness that Jesus speaks of is harder to obtain than the greatness the world offers, but the reward far surpasses anything this earthly life can offer. It requires dying to self and giving it all to Jesus, to serve others not for the sake of one’s own glory, but rather out of the love we have for Christ Jesus. Whether it is in a board room, the inner-city streets, or the hallway at school, the love of Christ compels us to share the Good News and the hope of life everlasting, and that is the greatest thing of all.

-Scott Thompson