They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
The Path to Greatness
Devotion based on Mark 9:33-35
See series: Devotions
See if you can guess who said the following: “It’s my job. It’s what I do. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.” Or this? “I’m so mean I make medicine sick.” Or how about? “I’m not the greatest; I’m the double greatest. Not only do I knock ’em out, I pick the round.”
Those quotes are all from former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali. During his heyday, he was one of the most controversial and talented athletes on the face of the earth. He was as quick-witted as he was quick-fisted. He was a fantastic showman, and he wanted everyone to hear that he was the greatest.
In our Bible passage today, Jesus’ disciples are doing their best Muhammad Ali impersonations, arguing about which of them was the greatest as they traveled on the road.
Jesus took that opportunity to show his disciples the way to true greatness. “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last and the servant of all.” And he wasn’t just saying it. He was doing it! He was the master of the angel armies who willingly came here to serve us in our greatest need. On Good Friday, Jesus gave no thought to his own well-being. He laid down his life so that we might live. That’s the definition of a hero. That is the epitome of greatness.
You are the greatest Lord Jesus and most worthy of all my praise. Help me always to remember and treasure your becoming a servant for me. Amen.
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