Be Great! Just like Jesus

“…but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all.  For the Son of Man came not to be served but to SERVE, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”                                   
Mark 10:43b-45

A person who is able to give to another without leaving a reserve for self is a beautiful thing to witness.  It’s so uncommon that such a person could easily be dismissed as exceptional. “She’s a really special person, she’s always been meant for greatness!” “He has so many resources to work with, he could do anything!” And in turn, we consider that such activity is reserved for the really ‘special’ in our world.

 SLAM participants help facilitate Youth Life Learning Center’s summer program in downtown Nashville. The center is very understaffed (2 workers and about 75 kids), so SLAM steps in to help organize, facilitate, and provide volunteers.

However, Jesus teaches us that his life shouldn’t be deemed exceptional, but rather exemplary.  In this text, he intentionally utilizes the title, “Son of Man.” It implies that his life is an example for those who will follow him; it is a paradigmatic reference to the collective expectation for God’s people, his holy ones, as embodied by the Son of Man (see Daniel 7). If the text read, “For Jesus of Nazareth, the historical Jew from Northern Galilee, did not come to be served during his public ministry in 30 AD...,” then we could consider that his words applied to him alone. If such specifics were mentioned, perhaps we could dismiss our responsibility in following Jesus to display his same sacrificial activity in our day-to-day. But instead, Jesus uses the title “Son of Man.” Jesus acted as an example for all children of God!

What does this mean for you and me?  It means that within our day-to-day living environments, our individual activity has the power to transform paradigms for greatness.  The activity of the followers of Jesus is not reserved for ‘great’ or ‘special’ people or organizations.  It is for all those who are willing to accept his way—his paradigm for greatness—which is to sacrificially give yourself to serve people in need.

In this newsletter, we share how this conviction manifests itself in our practice.  We are not inherently special or talented people, and we’re no more gifted than anyone else out there. But participating in this ‘way’ of service is making us great!  It may not be the kind of ‘great’ that’s going to earn us a Nobel Prize, but it is the kind of greatness that we saw modeled in the life of Jesus.

Every one of you reading this article can practice this same kind of greatness.  Where are the needs around you?  Meet them!  It will cost you, but that’s okay.  It won’t just cost you money or other resources, it will also cost your time, attention and care, but this is what is required to usher in a new world in which Jesus is leading us to life and life in abundance.

You don’t need a great organization, special giftings, resources,  degrees, or accreditations; you just need faith and a sincere, sacrificial love actualized in service to those in need.  I hope as you read this newsletter, you’ll be inspired to do what you can do, in the environment in which you live.  Be great!  Just like Jesus.