Summary: A look at the prpphecy that John will be "great in the sight of the Lord" and the other gospel passages where we're told how we can be great in the sight of the Lord.
A PROPHECY: John will be “great in the sight of the Lord.”
- Luke 1:15.
- This is part of the prophecy given to Zechariah about the child they would have.
- What an incredible thought: he will be “great in the sight of the Lord”! Of all the things you could hope for your child, it’s hard to top that one.
- Is that something that is only true for John? Is there an open door for me there?
A QUESTION: Can I be great in the sight of the Lord?
- We are obviously not John the Baptist. He played a unique role in the salvation drama.
- Still, the door to being great in the sight of the Lord is open to us. There are four things that Jesus Himself said that we could do in order to be great in His Kingdom.
- This obviously should not be a desire to elevate our name and have people praise us. Rather, it should be a heartfelt desire to glorify Christ via a life that makes a difference.
- We want to live a life that makes a difference. We want to leave a legacy. We want to make an impact. We want to hear, “Well done.”
HOW TO BE GREAT:
1. PRACTICE JESUS' COMMANDS.
- Matthew 5:19.
- This is the biggest of these four, in large part before if we do this one we’ll be doing the other three as well.
- This is different than “coming to church” or “having a Bible” or “being a member of a church” or other similar things that we often consider the proof of faith. We are to practice what Jesus taught.
2. TEACH JESUS' COMMANDS.
- Matthew 5:19.
- This is the second of the commands that appear in this verse.
- This is not limited to Sunday School teachers and church preachers. This includes any time that we share the truth of Jesus with people.
- Parts of this:
a. We need to know Jesus’ truths.
b. We need to point people to the actual truth, not just vague nice sayings.
c. We need to look for opportunities to share these truths in everyday life and not just on formal teaching occasions.
3. BE A SERVANT.
- This saying appears in two places.
- We are called to be servants rather than be people who enjoy their authority and look down on others.
4. RECEIVE THE PERSON WITH NO STATUS.
- Luke 9:46-48.
- This is the least clear of the passages. The phrasing in v. 48 – “For he who is least among you all – he is the greatest” – is a little challenging to connect with the previous sentence about a little child. What exactly does Jesus mean in saying that we should be “least”? Is that different from the thought on the little kids? Is that an extension of the thought on the little kids? Is that directly tied to the thought on the little kids?
- I think the clearest connection is that the two ideas are connected. I think Jesus is telling us to be “least” in the sense of being willing to hang around and befriend those who have no social importance.
- There are a lot of other passages where Jesus said similar things.
- In our lives, do we focus on our “equals”? Do we consider what that person can do for us?
- Or do we treat even the least of these as someone worthy of our respect and love?
- The waitress. The cashier. The socially awkward co-worker. The homeless man. The child.
- Treat each with respect and love.