Being great in the eyes of God
Last Sunday's Gospel reading ( Mark 10:35-45 ) impressed me a great deal that I feel compelled to share my thoughts with others who care to read and appreciate the words of Jesus.
Jesus in no uncertain terms describes what a leader or for that matter what we all must be, “Anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be slave to all. For the Son of man himself came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many”.
We are all ambitious as we all want become somebody great in our lives, to be the best in what we do. Often our ambitions are selfish as they are all for the betterment of ourselves or our families. The aim to achieve excellence may be noble especially when it is to help others but often it is ego-driven to gain recognition and fame. Will we strive so hard to achieve something if it does not bring power, wealth or fame to us or to our loved ones?
As a young man my ambition was to be a doctor and when I achieved that I wanted to excel in my job to become the best doctor around. However after some time I realized that was not God’s description of greatness. He will only accept me as great if I become the servant of the sick under my care. It was easy to become a great doctor and surgeon and carry out fantastic life-saving surgeries which brought me a lot of praise in my early days but it was more difficult to become the servant to my patients, to be always there unconditionally when they needed me most. After over 30 years being a doctor, I have achieved a great deal and treated many but I am still struggling to become great in the eyes of God, which is totally different from greatness in the eyes of men.
The words of Jesus in the Gospel, “Anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be slave to all”, is a reminder that we in our own life must be the servants of those whom we claim to lead or serve; members of our families, our colleagues, our subordinates and our employees. Unless we can do that we cannot be great in the eyes of God. Therefore let us reflect to see how we can become the first among those we deal with daily in our lives, being not their masters but their servants and slaves?
The Gospel reading for the Sunday
Gospel, Mark 10:35-45
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached him. 'Master,' they said to him, 'We want you to do us a favour.'
He said to them, 'What is it you want me to do for you?'
They said to him, 'Allow us to sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your glory.'
But Jesus said to them, 'You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I shall drink, or be baptised with the baptism with which I shall be baptised?'
They replied, 'We can.' Jesus said to them, 'The cup that I shall drink you shall drink, and with the baptism with which I shall be baptised you shall be baptised,
but as for seats at my right hand or my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted.'
When the other ten heard this they began to feel indignant with James and John,so Jesus called them to him and said to them, 'You know that among the gentiles those they call their rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt.
Among you this is not to happen. No; anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant,and anyone who wants to be first among you must be slave to all.
For the Son of man himself came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.'