|People in Jesus’ day imagined He would one day be a governor or a king on the throne of a government. Jesus’ disciples did not realize that He was creating a spiritual kingdom rather than a country. One day when all the other disciples are away, the mother of James and John tries to help her sons advance in their careers and help them get a little promotion. As she approaches Jesus, she says, and I paraphrase: James, and John are amazing! I need you to do one thing for me. When you become king of Israel, when you sit on your throne, I want you to put one on your left hand and one on your right. Do you know what that means? You should have them as your number one and number two, your go-to guys, your top lieutenants, and in the highest positions of power.As soon as the other ten disciples learn about this, they become indignant, according to the Bible. Not because they were offended or angry over this arrogant and bold move, but rather because they themselves wanted those positions. Then they all start bickering about who will be the greatest. Who’s going to have the most authority, the most land, or the best office title? In response, Jesus told them that if they want to be the greatest, they have to serve. He compared their attitude to that of the Gentiles. Their method of practicing authority was to use muscle, spears, and swords. In their eyes, that made them great.
Friend, it’s okay to want to be great, Jesus doesn’t condemn it. But here’s what will make you the greatest: Do it Jesus’ way by learning to serve. Pay the price. Find a way to effectively serve every person in your sphere of influence, and you will be amongst the greatest who ever lived!