What defines greatness? Achievement, personal happiness, integrity, vision, a large family, material wealth? What defines greatness? What does God say about it?
“It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
Jesus has spent 3 years with these disciples. They have come to believe He is the Son of God. Only the lowest servants were assigned the task of washing feet. In their culture, there is no way that the Sovereign God should be washing their feet.
Then came the Game Changer:
“Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” What? Jesus was saying humble service to others is the ultimate goal. This is not greatness by the World's standards, this is greatness by Jesus' standards.
Greatness is not determined by your position (title and power), it is determined by your posture (humbly serving others).
If you want to be truly great in this life, do the things that will truly matter in the next life - things that affect eternity! Jesus told us what those things are...
“Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
These are the things that will last for all eternity, that make a difference in the life to come. This is true greatness!
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