One Who Serves
Perhaps the most famous book on greatness is Jim Collins’ bestseller, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't. Obviously, it is a business book targeted at business leadership. It is a how-to for corporate people to grow their companies. In the book he writes, “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.” In other words, work hard, work smart, be disciplined, and devote yourself to the task and your business can be better than good; it can be great. Seems reasonable.
In Luke 22:1-23 (last week’s passage), the disciples were with Jesus having just experienced the first Lord’s Table with him. They had just heard about a betrayer among them, and a dispute was raging about who that might be. As that was playing out, they started arguing about who was the greatest and Peter made a bold declaration in arguing for his status as the greatest among them (Luke 22:24-34). It seems that a first-to-worst list had taken shape among the disciples! And that list was based entirely on a faulty set of criteria, according to Jesus. It was based on what the world considered to be greatness. “But not so with you,” Jesus said; his followers were to base greatness on something quite different. Something they hadn’t yet learned.
Collins is right about this: “Greatness…is largely a matter of conscious choice.” Jesus set himself up as the example of what greatness is to look like; “But I am among you as the one who serves.” That’s what it takes to be great: a conscious choice to give myself sacrificially for others. It is servanthood. It is not position, status, wealth, bravado, or success in the way we normally think of that. Jesus turned the world’s notion of greatness on its head and made it a non-negotiable for genuine Christians.
The Gospel of Luke | Pt. 6
One Who Serves
Pastor Todd Dugard // Luke 22:24–34
March 17, 2019
When you’re great in God’s eyes...
• You don’t even think about being great (v. 24–25)
• You eagerly take on the lower rank and task (v. 26–27a)
• You pursue greatness as Jesus did (v. 27b)
• You settle the big issues of life (v. 28–30)
• You recognize how hard the battle will be (v. 31–34)