Who’s the Greatest?

They came to Capernaum; and when He was in the house, He began to question them, “What were you discussing on the way?” But they kept silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another which of them was the greatest. Mark 9:33-34

I witnessed Muhammad Ali in his heyday. He constantly referred to himself as the greatest boxer who ever lived. He may well have been, but for sure he was the greatest bragger who ever lived.

The word greatest has mega as its root. The animated movie Megamind comes immediately to mind. He’s the greatest supervillain who ever lived, yet the most unsuccessful. Against Metro Man, he’s constantly thwarted, until he finally defeats him, but then he has no purpose in life! To be the greatest someone has got to be the least. There’s got to be a fall guy.

Not in God’s economy. To be the greatest means you spend the least amount of time thinking about how you match up with or excel over others. The “greatest” in a biblical sense is so wrapped up in serving others he or she seldom think about themselves.

It’s really best not to think of one’s self more highly than you ought to think (Roman 12:3) because there’s always going to be someone out there you can’t touch! If you watch a lot of sports TV, they’re constantly doing shows on the greatest this and that, team, game, player, era, conference, you name it. The person Jesus describes here will never be mentioned. His or her stats won’t match up.

There’ll be a time for our deeds to be judged and crowns to be won, but as would be expected of those who win such crowns, they’ll throw them back at the Lord’s feet (Revelation 4:10).

Spend your time thinking and doing for others, and less time on your press releases.

About Rick Reynolds

You'll find me in the far right hand corner of evangelical Christianity. I defy more categorization than that. Been studying the Word for 40 years and counting.
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