“Who is the greatest?” There are endless debates on sports radio and cable news on who is the greatest in this field or in that sport. We put the “greats” on pedestals and tell our young people to look at them and follow in their path. Even as believers we can fall into the trap of believing that our accomplishments and popularity define who we are and determine our status in society.
Fortunately, we have some direction in this matter. Jesus was asked this very question, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” His disciples asked this question. “Jesus, could you put this on a spiritual level. Who is the greatest believer in the kingdom?” Before we criticize these men, maybe we should listen to his answer and run it through our grid first.
Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Do you think the disciples stood in silence as those stunning words sunk into their hearts? Jesus said that the great ones don’t even know they are great. They are the humble, obedient, trusting ones that don’t think about themselves much less how great they are.
This is a biblical paradox that turns modern day thinking on its head. So, what if the best athletes in our high schools were great in the Lord’s eyes? What if the student-leaders in our schools were so unassuming it was refreshing? What if our youth groups were the examples in our churches pointing our adults back to what really matters the most?
The desire to be great is an honorable goal. Let’s just be sure that the one who takes note of us is the One who defined greatness to motivated men as they humbly observed a child full of faith.