Friday, December 28, 2012

Looking to be Great in the Kingdom?

Jesus made it clear that greatness in his kingdom equals servanthood:

And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:42-45)

This flies in the face of everything the world tells us. That shouldn't surprise us since our Lord's Kingdom is not of this world. The challenge to us as the church is to avoid the world's definition of greatness and instead to strive after that of Christ.

What does this look like in day-to-day living? I believe it means that we take opportunity to do for others and set examples for others. Instead of being concerned about status or authority, we simply try to help other people as they have need.

As I think back on my life, the greatest people I have known have been servants. Some of these folks have held positions of leadership in the church while others have not. Regardless, it was the service that I recall fondly. That's what made them great.


Jeffrey said...

Occasionally, I'll see, or hear of someone washing feet in the church. This is roughly analogous to a wafer for communion. It's a nice gesture , but only a shadow of what was modeled by Jesus.

Washing feet had the effect of providing a service that was genuinely needed in the first century; washing feet now is just a public show of psuedo-servanthood.

Eric said...


I've seen it done for show as well. Like many things, it is the setting and situation that counts. I simply used the photo as a metaphor for servanthood.

As for the first century Christians, I imagine that foot washing would have been a much more common symbol for Christianity than the cross was. As for us, not so much since it's not generally needed. Regardless of specifics, we need to be serving people.