MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 2
“Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” “What do you want me to do for you?” He asked. They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
Mark 10:35-37 (NIV)
Everybody wants to be somebody. For example, a man who bore a marked resemblance to a famous actor was sitting in a New York restaurant one day when he was approached by a would-be fan who asked, “Hey, aren’t you somebody?” The actor look-alike answered, “No, I look like somebody, but I am just a nobody.”
Most of us would like to be considered a “somebody.” In Mark 10, James and John, disciples of Jesus, ask Jesus for greatness. They ask Jesus to promise to let them sit on His right and left side on the throne. They are asking for Jesus to guarantee them the number one and two spots in Jesus’ government. Their timing couldn’t have been worse for their self-seeking, which came right on the heels of the prediction of His death. Here is Jesus purposely and painfully making His way to Jerusalem to die on a cross. And all James and John can think about is whether or not they get reserved parking spots with their names on it.
Jesus doesn’t criticize the request. However, He does correct their understanding of greatness. Here’s where selfishness ran right into the chest of selflessness. God does want us to be great. But God’s definition of greatness isn’t always the same as our definition of greatness. This week we will review what we learned this past Sunday about Chasing Greatness. In the meantime, how do the people closest to you define greatness? How do you define greatness? How do you think God defines greatness in the Bible?