Summary: As Christians, we ahve been called to live a life of greatness
Called to Greatness
June 12, 2005
A few weeks ago I was watching ESPN early one morning and I was listening to one commentator talk about one of the NBA teams that had made it to the Finals. I am not too into basketball so I am not sure which team they were talking about but I believe it was the Miami Heat. The commentator kept using the word great to describe the team. This team had a great defense. They had great rebounding. They had great three point shooters. They had a great inside game. The commentator really was overkill with the word great about the team.
What does it mean to be great?
The world around us uses the word great to describe many different things but what do we use to measure greatness?
• Power: A person’s greatness is measured by the things that they have the ability to control
• Prestige: A person’s greatness is measured by the accolades that they receive
• Position: A person’s greatness is measured by where they are in life
• Possessions: A person’s greatness is measured by the things that they own
This might surprise you but Jesus has a totally different view of greatness. Greatness is not measured by what you have or what you can do. It is not measured by who you are or by where you are in life. Greatness for the Christian is more about why you do what you do and who you do it for. Greatness flows out of giving not getting.
In the eyes of Jesus, greatness flows from three things
1.) Sacrifice: We are called to give up who we are right now so we can become who God wants us to be
2.) Service: We are called to give ourselves to others and invest our lives in those around us
3.) Selflessness: We are called to give ourselves to Christ and His Kingdom
30 They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, 31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise." 32 But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it. 33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the road?" 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. 35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." 36 He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me."
I. Greatness flows out of sacrifice
The hope and peace that we have as Christians flows out of the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf. Our peace comes from the fact that Jesus traded the glory of heaven for the grime of earth. Jesus gave up the praise of the angels to hear the insults of sinful men. Jesus gave up the position in heaven to take up a position on the cross.
"The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.”
Jesus felt the sting of betrayal. Jesus was betrayed by one of those who had followed Him from the beginning of His ministry. Judas betrayed Jesus to the corrupt religious leadership and they would kill Him. I think we need to remember that Jesus was also betrayed by Peter when he denied Jesus three different times. Jesus was betrayed by the rest of the disciples because they turned and ran in His darkest hour.
Jesus was crucified. Jesus died the most miserable and horrid death known to humanity at the time of His life. Why would He do such a thing?
1. Jesus was willing to die (John 10:11)
Jesus was not forced to go to the cross but rather made the choice to go to the cross because He loved us that much. Jesus had the desire to sacrifice because He loved us more than life itself.
2. Jesus died for redemption (Ephesians 1:7)
Jesus understood the magnitude of our personal need and He died to pay the price for our sins, our failures and our poor choices. Jesus died to pay a debt that he did not owe because we owed a debt that we could not pay.