In the time of Jesus and in our time, greatness, most believe, can be measured in terms of power and wealth that can be used to compel or buy the services of other people. Jesus had a different idea. He dared to suggest that the greatest person at the banquet may not be the honoured guest at the head table. It could well be one of those men or women who are out there pouring the coffee, serving the food, and cleaning the tables after everyone has gone home. The greatest person in a nation may not be the President, the Prime Minister, the Queen or the King. It may be a teacher who, day after day, gives herself with unswerving devotion to meet the needs of her students. The greatest person in a church may not be the priest at the altar. It may be someone in the pew who, without noise or fanfare, helps to meet the needs of the poor in the parish and area. We could multiply the examples but suffice to say that Jesus had a very unconventional concept of what it means to be a great person.
With one sentence and the example of his life he turned the whole concept of greatness from honour and recognition to service. So, if it is true greatness that we seek there is only one way to achieve it. We must follow in the steps of him who said,
“The Son of Man has not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”