Matthew 20:17-34

If you’re an American, you’ve seen the red MAGA caps. You might even have one.

Make America Great Again.

So what is greatness? In this passage, the mother of the sons of Zebedee went to Jesus asking him to give her sons preferential treatment, i.e., greatness. (What a helicopter mom!) It makes me smile and roll my eyes at the same time. I wonder if Jesus did the same.

He turned to her two sons with a question: “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?” (He had just told them what he was about to go through—mocking, scourging, crucifixion.)
 
Whoever wishes to become great shall be your servant.
Whoever wishes to be first shall be your slave.

We can’t romanticize slavery. No rights. No respect. No one to stand up for you. No future for your children. Man’s inhumanity to man.

I don’t know about you, but I kinda wish greatness didn’t have to look like that. Yet Jesus washed people’s feet and sacrificed his own life to accomplish a greater purpose. In his selflessness, he was great.

Okay, that’s Jesus, but what about us?

Whoever wishes to become great shall be your servant.

We’re to serve people. Wash their feet. Take care of their child when they’re sick. Make time for others, even if it’s inconvenient. Help heal our world if we can, rather than ensconce ourselves in our own greatness.

Most of the servant types I know wouldn’t define themselves as great. They’re too busy making the world a better place…and happily so.

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