|Kevin Coyle ’20
Jesus knew human nature well and thus understood the desire of James and John to be first. Jesus also understands our desire to be our best, but the path he suggests to the disciples and likewise to us to attain it seems illogical to most people—even many Christians.
Why is service to others, a theme prominent throughout the Bible, so important, and how can it be a way to achieve greatness?
I believe the answer to the first question lies in the last line of today’s gospel. Jesus says, “For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus helped the poor, healed the sick, fed thousands, and overcame incredible temptations. In addition to this selflessness, he followed God’s will and gave up his life for us. As Christians, we strive to model our actions on how Jesus lived his life on earth. It seems clear that the whole foundation of our faith is built on his example of self-sacrifice, and we too are asked to take up our cross and follow him.
I believe the answer to the second question can be understood in one of my favorite quotes: “Satan’s biggest fear is for you to become everything that God created you to be.” By putting our desires for self-promotion last, we start becoming everything God created us to be and through that become great.
This is hard work, takes discipline, and is nearly impossible to do alone, but when we rely on God for the strength to carry out what God desires for us, we can reach our full potential. While we may fall short at times, we must persevere. The closer we get to our God-given potential, the more God can work through us and achieve the kind of greatness that Jesus promises us.