The Nature of True Greatness

September 21, 2013

Relationship with God


Luke 9:48

For he who is least among you all—he is the greatest.”
(NIV84)

On the surface this statement above sounds like an oxymoron,
but when we consider that almost everything important in the Bible is not
literally represented, and must therefore be spiritually discerned, we must
look deeply into the words in order to see their spiritual meaning.

Let us first look at the whole discussion.

Luke 9:46–48

An argument started among the disciples as to which of them
would be the greatest. 47 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a
little child and had him stand beside him. 48 Then he said to them,
“Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever
welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all—he
is the greatest.” (NIV84)

Who is greater: you or Jesus? Be serious now; who is
greater? Okay, now, who is greater: you or a little child? That is what Jesus
is saying here. If you want to be the greatest you must see yourself for what
you truly are, that is, you are truly the actual servant of any little child
and therefore any young person, and therefore any other adult. Jesus himself,
his soul as it were, saw himself as being the actual servant of all mankind.
The person who was great was God. Jesus represented God. To disrespect Jesus
was to disrespect God, because Jesus made himself so unimportant that even a
child was more important than he and therefore what he represented was pretty
much all there was.

Let us look at this in another way. The President of the
United States represents the United States. To disrespect him (or her) is to
disrespect the entire nation. If the President wanted to be the greatest
President ever, then he (or she) must humble him or herself entirely, until
they don’t really exist anymore. The only thing that still exists for the
humbled President is the United States itself. The person is out of the way;
the thing that the person represents is all that is visible. Words that the
great President speaks are as though the nation itself was speaking them. That
man who gets his own personal agenda out of the way entirely, and only lives to
represent that which he represents, is the perfect representative.

If you want to be the greatest possible Christian then you
must empty yourself of every personal ambition and desire and for all practical
purposes become the perfect image of the one you represent, that is, God. When
you are completely out of the way, then whenever anyone sees you, they are
actually seeing God. That is what Jesus Christ is. Jesus Christ so humbled
himself, to his very core, so that the only thing that could be seen in him was
God.

Colossians 1:15

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over
all creation. (NIV84)

Philippians 2:5–11

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to
be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a
servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in
appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death
on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and
gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of
Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the
Father. (NIV84)

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2 Comments on “The Nature of True Greatness”

  1. L Says:

    To live your life for the sake of others, is the greatest sacrifice anyone can make. To pour out all that you are and become everything He wants you to be is a life long journey. The older I get, the more I understand how “little” I really am in comparison to Him. By placing my own desires, dreams and ambitions aside, my heart no longer lives in conflict constantly wondering if I’m doing the “right” thing or “pleasing” the right person. My life is not my own. In essence, I do not belong to me. I belong to Him and if I belong to Him, then I am a servant to all. It’s not about me at all, it’s all about Him.

    “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Col. 3:1-4 (NIV)

    Reply

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