Posted by: duncandrews | April 24, 2009

So, you want to be great? II

Ali

I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was... I'll beat him so bad he'll need a shoehorn to put his hat on.

Greatness. Some, it’s said, are born to it, some achieve it, and some have it thrust upon them. Ali had it, Mundine claims it. We want it for our lucky country, but we all know we’ll never really be as great as our big bro the U.S. A. It brings with it status, recognition, wealth, power. And all of us, so it seems, whether we are bankers or builders, athletes or architects, want it, and strive to attain it.

Greatness, according to Dictionary.com, includes such definitions as ‘of outstanding significance or importance’, ‘superior in quality or character’, ‘powerful and influential’, and ‘eminent and distinguished’. I wonder what Jesus would have said to his disciples if he could have logged on to the Net and googled ‘greatness’.

Perhaps he would have rebuked John and James for their ambitions to greatness – how could they, fishermen nobodies, even entertain the thought that they might sit at his right and left? Didn’t they know who they were? Or, perhaps more importantly, who Jesus was? Were they presuming to compare themselves with the great Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? With Moses, the one through who the Torah was given? With great king David? With the glory of the Prophets, of Elijah? What right did they have to think they would be placed above even these?

Dictionary.com greatness was something they were so far removed from it was laughable.

But, perhaps surprisingly, Jesus doesn’t say this. He doesn’t buy into their ideas of and aspirations to greatness. He says, and ultimately does, something far more glorious. He redefines, or even better reclaims and reveals the nature of true greatness.

Series so far: i, ii

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Responses

  1. […] so far: i, ii, iii Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Needed, Cross-Eyed PreachersWhy Our Church […]


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