Wouldn’t it be great to be great? You know what I mean- a famous person, an extraordinary individual, a legend in your own time. And it wouldn’t just be about the press coverage, the media interviews, and the best seats at sporting events. Being great would be great because you would know deep in your heart that your life mattered. You would be able to justify your existence, confident that you had left your mark in time and space. But I guess being that kind of person is reserved for just a few folks. You know, the ones who are highly talented, extremely educated, and in the right place at the right time. The rest of the population has about as much chance of achieving greatness as going to the moon right?

I’ve got a radical thought for you – so pay attention because your chance of greatness is just around the corner… In fact, it can start just as soon as you finish reading this devotion!

You see, it all depends on how you define being ‘great’. If that means popularity, money, or something named after you, then you’re statistically right- that will probably never happen.

But let me ask you- do you know the names of the rich and famous from just 100 years ago? They thought they were pretty important at the time, but now they’re buried and took nothing with them. Maybe some things were named after them, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t recognize most of the names if I heard them.

But there is another kind of greatness – one that the greatest of all talked about.

Here’s what He said: “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave– just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28)

Here is someone who knows what He was talking about! Just for the record, here are the official results:

  • He was born in an obscure village.
  • The child of a peasant woman.
  • He grew up in another obscure village where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty.
  • He never wrote a book.
  • He never held an office.
  • He never went to college.
  • He never visited a big city.
  • He never traveled more than two hundred miles from the place where he was born.
  • He did none of the things usually associated with greatness.
  • He had no credentials but himself.
  • He was only thirty three.
  • His friends ran away and abandoned him.
  • One of them denied him.
  • He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a fake trial.
  • He was nailed to a cross between two thieves.
  • While dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing; the only property he had on earth when he was dead.
  • He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

“Twenty centuries have come and gone and today Jesus is the central figure of the human race, and the leader of mankind’s progress. All the armies that have ever marched, all the navies that have ever sailed, all the parliaments that have ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned put together, have not affected the life of mankind on earth as powerfully as that one solitary life.” (Author Unknown)

Jesus showed us that we can all achieve greatness by considering others more important than ourselves. If we do that, we’ll leave an impact that will last for eternity. What a contrast to the typical attitude of the “great” person!

Here’s a quote for us to consider:

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”  – Martin Luther King Jr.


Which kind of “greatness” are you pursuing right now?

How could you be a better servant to those around you?

How much is your heart “full of grace” and your soul “generated by love?”