The Greatest of All: The “I”, Part 2

by | May 13, 2014 | Humility, Selfishness, Servant, The "I"

We humans have a tendency to feel superior. I remember being barely fourteen years old when the first Superman movie came out. During the intermission I noticed two youngsters staring at me and pointing with their fingers: “Look!” They whispered. “Superman!”

All of a sudden my chest swelled up and my biceps started to show themselves from out of nowhere. Pride filled me and I began to feel like I had the power of Superman. Good thing I didn’t try to fly! I would have experienced how flies feel when they encounter a flyswatter!

Are we, in all reality, really superior? If so, then why do our neighbour feel superior to us? There is something wrong in with this picture!

Who really is the greatest one among us? Is it the one who has the biggest biceps? I hope not, because I would certainly lose on that one! Or maybe it is the handsomest one? Again, no hope for me! What about the one who makes the most money? That one leaves me out as well! Perhaps it is the one with the most military power! Whoa. I guess there really is no hope!

Jesus shocked us to the core when he pointed out who is the greatest among us: “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.” (Matt 20:26-28 NIV)

Whoa! Wait a minute! I don’t even want to be a servant to these smelly humbugs. Much less their slave!

But Jesus did it willingly. And isn’t He our guide in all things?

But why is serving so important to Jesus?

“The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matt 23:11-12 NIV)

We cannot serve God when we are filled with pride. If you don’t believe it, just look at the evil one. His boasting led to his demise, and ours as well! We cannot serve Yahweh when we see ourselves as Superman! In fact, the “I” only gets in the way of really getting to know God!

But what about my ambitions? “Peter declared, ‘Even if all fall away, I will not.'” (Mark 14:29 NIV) Guess that’s the wrong answer!

What about my lofty career goals? “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.” (Matt 20:21 NIV) Wrong again!!!

And what about my tendency to feel superior? “Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.” (Luke 22:24 NIV) Wrong!!!

Then there is my tendency to be jealous: “Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, ‘Lord, who is going to betray you?’) When Peter saw him, he asked, ‘Lord, what about him?'” (John 21:20-21NIV) Once again, wrong!!!

Jesus’ response to all of these things?

“But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.” (Luke 22:26-27 NIV)

We are no better than anyone else. Truly we are all sinners, with no exceptions. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:23 NIV)

Where did that Superman’s tendency come from? It could have only come from the evil one!

Try the following experiment. It is quite revealing and entertaining at the same time! Ask younger kids what they would like to become when they grow up. You will hear a variety of answers, from “doctor” to “astronaut”, from “teacher” to “basketball player”. But you will never hear one say: “I would like to serve!” Or “I would like to become a garbage collector” or “I would like to become a janitor” or “a store clerk” or even a “house cleaner”.

Why not? Because these are the jobs of a servant!

What you need to realize is that there are blessings in any job, as long as you try to be a blessing to others! Every one of these serving jobs is just as important as the other jobs, if not more so! Think about it! How would we function if garbage was not collected? And what if our houses never got cleaned?

We have a nasty tendency to see ourselves greater than what we really are. The solution? Let’s focus on Jesus! He will help us realize who we really are, and through Him, we truly can become a blessing to those around us!

“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” (Heb 12:2-3 The Message)

“Supermen beware! Here comes the real Superhero! The One who willingly died on a cross for us so that we could spend eternity with Him, if we so desire.”

Rob Chaffart

(To view the entire “The “I” devotional series, please click here.)


The Greatest of All: The “I”, Part 2