“…[W]hosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister. And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26 b. -28)
To be great is to minister or to serve others. But what is it to be great?
When I was a young and ignorant believer I heard a sermon on being a servant. This thought of being a servant made my flesh kick. I would never want to be considered a servant. Being a servant is for the lowly. This is what I thought as a young and ignorant believer.
What I have come to know is to serve others is (1) one of the great joys of my life. I have found that to leave people and places better than we found them is a higher calling. To leave a place better than you found it is to simply pick up debris from a parking lot or pick up merchandise from off of the floor in a store. To pick up debris from off the street is to leave a place better than it was. To engage a fellow human and to leave them in a better state is to leave them better than you found them. To tell a stranger, “You look nice today,” is to leave them better than you found them…..be careful and be wise as to whom you say this…stick to an older person as not to mix messages.
The above may sound corny to some but is this not what Christ did? Did He not leave mankind and this earth better than He found it?
What is it to be great? To be great is to be loved, respected, appreciated, and to make a difference for good in another’s life. To be great is to serve as Christ served. To be great is to be Christ-like in word and works. To be great is to live for others and the well being of others. To be great is to love fully as Christ did. This is Christ-ian greatness.
This world, which lieth in wickedness, sees greatness in a different light or rather darkness. The world sees greatness as financial, as an impressive house (Whether it be a home or not or paid for or not), as a world class education, material possessions, and everyone’s envy for his materialism. Let me be clear, there is nothing wrong with the above (Except the envy) “things” or “stuff” as long as they are just “things” and just “stuff”. As long as you own them and they do not own you. They are fine as long as they serve you and you do not serve them in an idolatrous way. They are fine as long as you can let them go or if God may take them.
This view of greatness is (1) one more difference between the Christ-ian and the non-Christ-ian. They see greatness as having much more than others; we see greatness as doing much for others. Power and want calls to them; Needs and service calls to us. They may serve as a business; we serve as a calling and a pleasure. They want to be more than their fellow man; we want to be more and do more for our fellow man. They want to be pleasured by others like a god; We want to be a pleasure to God. They want to be god-like; we are Christ-like and want to be more and more Christ-like. They want to be served; we want to be of service.
It is ironic that in our society we are so interested in the Samurai of old Japan. These men were men of honour, loyalty, strength, courage and respect. They had a code of honour that was backed up by their life and the loss thereof. They respected life and if in their life they bring dishonour upon their life, they would end it by ritual. I’m not saying this is right, but it was their culture. They would end their life if they dishonoured it but today, in this wicked world, if a woman becomes pregnant out of wed lock and brings dishonour to her family she kills the baby. I’m not suggesting that she kill herself…good grief!
The Samurai was a man of great capabilities. He was more than capable in fight and war. Many were capable writers and artist. They saw their master as one to obey and defend at all costs, even their life. To die in war or for their master was an honourable death. Oh! and did I mention the word Samurai means “one who serves.” Yes the Samurai that many are so fascinated by are servants to others. What made the Samurai great was not his sword, or his abilities but his service to others. Many are fascinated by the Samurai and would like to be Samurai but to be Samurai is to be a servant and that is the irony.
The greatest men were servants. Lincoln = servant to the people; Douglas Macarthur = servant to his country; Einstein = servant to science; All great entreprenuers = servants to their customers; Ghandi = servant to his nation and servant to the inspiration of others.
The greatest man, Who lives now and forever; Lord Jesus came to be a servant to man and to be the servant of God. Christ thrust dignity into the serving of others.
Christ is called King of kings and Lord of lords. Let us also call Him Samurai of the samurai.