Being a great man requires service

In the first session we looked at Matthew 20. This is when James and John asked Jesus to make them great rulers in His kingdom. We saw that while Jesus didn’t condemn them for wanting to be great He did say greatness is not what you think. Mat 20:25-28 But Jesus called them to [Himself] and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. “And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave– “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” The world thinks greatness is when you have people looking after you and doing your bidding. The world thinks greatness is having your name in lights or being seated at the head of the table. Jesus is saying greatness is when you’re looking after others. In Luke 5 we read about some men who took their paralyzed friend to Jesus. They served their friend. This was a man who had nothing. He couldn’t repay them. He couldn’t confer on them some award or public recognition. They served him expecting nothing in return. The greatest acts of service are those that addresses the most fundamental needs. In Acts 3 Peter and John encounter a man who is paralyzed and in need. When he first met them he thought they were going to give him money. That certainly would have been one act of service. Money, however, wasn’t what the man really needed. What he really needed was to be healed. Peter and John gave him what was needed most. Far too many young men think that by providing financial support to their families they are being of service. What their family really needs is a great man who will pray with them and lead them to the Lord. What they really need is a great man who will do everything possible to ensure they have an eternity with Jesus.

Service is difficult because it requires setting aside our own interests and needs. It requires making others a priority. This is yet another way in which biblical greatness is different than the world. The world says let me win the game. Let me get the spotlight. Let me get my needs met. A truly great biblical man meets the needs of others first. Paul wrote Phl 2:5-8 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, [and] coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to [the point of] death, even the death of the cross. Jesus, our example, set aside His desire to avoid the cross for our salvation. As great biblical men we are to put the needs of those in our care above our own.

Right Next Step

Challenge yourself and the men around you to identify the greatest needs of the people they serve. Meet those needs without being asked. Job said he went looking for people to serve. Job 29:16 I [was] a father to the poor, And I searched out the case [that] I did not know. He was greatest when he served. Let that be our motto.