07 Aug Mark 26: Recipe for greatness
32 And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, 33 saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. 34 And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.”
35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36 And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” 37 And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” 38 Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” 39 And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, 40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” 41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. 42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.
Have you ever heard someone tells a story that begins with, “Back in the day”? My dad used to tell me that back in the day he used to be in shape, and he was very popular among girls. You can decide for yourself whether he is telling the truth or not. But because I am a good son, I chose to believe him. There were times that whenever people tell me their back-in-the-day stories, I wanted to say, “I know you were great before, but move on. It’s been 20 years.” But these days, I catch myself saying things like, “You know, back in the day, I was a pretty good athlete. I ran 100 meters in 12 seconds.” Why did I say that? Because now I can’t even run 50 meters without stopping. All of us have those good old days. If you are under 20, it is coming. If you are in your 20s, enjoy it. If you are in your 30s, you miss it. And if you are 40 and above, you exaggerate it. Here is my point. Inside every single person, there is a seed of greatness. No one wants their life to be mediocre. We want our lives to matter. No one grows up dreaming of waking up, going to work, scrolling through Instagram, watching Netflix, playing games, and then doing it all over again the next day until they die. Do you know why? It is because God created humans in his image. We were created in the image of the most glorious greatest being in the universe. That is why there is an innate desire for greatness in all of us. We want to be difference-makers.
The question is, how do we become great? The world tells us that greatness equals power. The more power we have, the more status we have, the more achievements we have, the more successful we are, the greater we become. But is that true? I don’t think so. Think about it. In the light of human history, our lives are very insignificant. We might accomplish many great things in our 70 years of life. But it won’t be long before people forget our names. No one will remember us in 50 years. If we are rich, we can make a statue of ourselves and make our great-grandchildren know our names. But no one will remember us in 100 years. Or let’s say we become a king and we rule the world. No one will remember us in 1000 years. It does not matter how hard we try, eventually, no one will remember us. We might achieve greatness according to the world’s standards, but it is fleeting and meaningless. It is only a matter of time before it becomes a back-in-the-day story. It does not satisfy our longing for greatness. And in this passage, Jesus will tell us why. Jesus will turn our idea of greatness upside down. Here is what we must get. Greatness is not achieved through power but through service; it’s not about commanding others but serving others.
Let me give you the context of the passage first. Jesus had just finished talking to the rich young ruler. He is now on his way to Jerusalem. And Jesus knows exactly what is waiting for him in Jerusalem. He is about to enter the enemy’s territory. And from this point forward, the narrative of Mark changes from the identity of Jesus to the journey of Jesus toward the cross. And right before he enters Jerusalem, Jesus tells the disciples the third and final prediction of his death and resurrection. And this is the most explicit one. And Mark also records the last healing Jesus performs, the healing of a blind beggar. And sandwiched between the two is Jesus’ conversation with the disciples on greatness. All this is to show that Jesus is the greatest person ever lived. And he achieved greatness by becoming the lowest servant who serve others by giving his life. And if we want to follow Jesus to greatness, we also must serve others with our lives.
I have three points for my sermon: Greatness predicted; Greatness defined; Greatness displayed.
Mark 10:32-34 – 32 And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, 33 saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. 34 And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.”
Can you see how determined Jesus is to go to the cross? Most of us, if we know we are going to our death, will delay the process as long as possible. But not so with Jesus. Jesus is ready to go to Jerusalem and die. The disciples are amazed at Jesus’ resolution. And they are also terrified of what awaits them in Jerusalem. They know they are about to enter the enemy’s headquarters. They know how much the religious leaders hate Jesus. And Jesus is heading to Jerusalem knowing exactly what will happen to him. This is what separates Jesus from the founder of every other religion. For other religious leaders, their death is the tragic end of their story. Their focus is to live and be an example. And their death marks the end of their mission. But Jesus is different. For us, death is an unavoidable outcome that we fear. But for Jesus, death is always his purpose in coming to earth. It is what he is anticipating. It is Jesus’ purpose to die at the cross. Because he knows that his death is the only way for us to live. How radical is that?
Then Jesus gathers the disciples and tells them what is going to happen to him in explicit detail. He says, “Hey guys, when we get to Jerusalem, they will capture me, they will deliver me to the chief priest and scribes, they will condemn me to death and deliver me over to Pilate. And they will mock me, flog me, spit on me, and kill me on the cross. But I will rise after three days.” Can you see how detailed the descriptions Jesus gives? Listen. There is nothing about the cross that surprises Jesus. He predicts the exact details of his own death and resurrection. And by the way, if anyone predicts his own death and resurrection and pulls it off, whatever he says, I’m sold. The cross is not an accident. God has planned every step of Jesus’ death and resurrection. The religious leaders and Roman authorities might think that they have the upper hand on Jesus, but they don’t. They have no authority over Jesus. God is the one who delivered Jesus into their hands. God is the one who planned out every detail of Jesus’ death from before the foundation of the world. There are no surprises. The cross is not a defeat; it is a divine orchestra. And here is the good news for us. Just as God has orchestrated every single step of Jesus’ life, God has orchestrated every single step of our lives. There is no such thing as an accident for God. God has planned our lives to the last detail.
When we read God’s plan for Jesus’ death, some of us might ask, “If God is a loving God, why would he do that? Why would he send Jesus to die on the cross? Why can’t he just forgive everybody?” Here is why. And it is something that we understand intuitively. We know that all life-changing love is substitutionary sacrifice. Let me give you an example: Parenting. Parents, how do you love your children? By dying. When you have children, your children do not grow up automatically. They have so many needs and they cannot do anything on their own. They are dependent on you. And the only way for them to grow beyond their dependency is for you to abandon your independence for twenty years or so. When they are young, you have to do many things for them. For example, you have to read to them. You have to read to them again and again or else they won’t develop intellectually. You have to read them books that are just so boring, books about dumb things that do not even matter. Not all of them, but so many of them. And you can’t just do it once. You have to read them the same books over and over again. And then there is also dressing, bathing, feeding, and teaching them to do many things for themselves. Plus, taking care of them when they are sick. When they are sick, they are extremely clingy. And you have to sacrifice more of your free time, sleep, work, productivity, and health. Because when they are sick, you tend to get sick as well. Some of you are like, “Babe, is he talking about our family?”
But listen. Unless you make all those sacrifices, unless you are willing to disrupt your life, unless you let go of your freedom, your children will not grow up healthy and equipped to function. If you don’t make those sacrifices, your children are going to make the sacrifice. They will not grow up to be a proper adult. So, the choice is: you can make the sacrifice, or they are going to make the sacrifice. It’s you or them. Either you suffer temporarily in a redemptive way, or they are going to suffer in a destructive way. All life-changing love is substitutionary sacrifice. That’s why it makes sense that a God who is far more loving than us, would have to make a great substitutionary sacrifice to love us. Can you see? Jesus didn’t have to die despite God’s love; Jesus have to die because of God’s love.
Mark 10:35-37 – 35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36 And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” 37 And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.”
Talk about missing the point. I mean, Jesus just told them what’s going to happen to him. And we would think that the disciples would fall on their knees in adoration. But what happens is the opposite. The disciples do not get the message. John and James come to Jesus and say, “Teacher, we want you to do whatever we ask of you.” This is not a request. This is a demand. It’s like when a wife says to her husband, “Honey, I want to talk to you about something. But before I do that, I want you to promise me that you would agree to everything I am about to tell you.” This is what John and James do to Jesus. And not only them but also us. I am sure this is how we often pray to God. “God, I am about to pray for something, and I want you to do exactly as I tell you.” Am I right? And Jesus says, “What do you want me to do for you?” They reply, “We want the best seats in the house when you become king. One at your right and one at your left.” If you are not shaking your head, you are not paying attention. Jesus just told them, “Guys, I am going to Jerusalem to suffer and die. They will spit on me, flog me, and kill me.” And then two of his closest disciples come up to him and say, “Hey Jesus, can we be the Prime Minister and the Chief of Staff in your kingdom? We want the top places in your cabinet. Is that okay with you?” Other gospel writers tell us that it is their mom who leads the charge. She says to Jesus, “Jesus, I would like you to give my kids the best seat in the house. They are good boys. I can vouch for them.” I don’t know. I could be wrong on this. But I think their mom might be Asian.
Can you see what happened? Instead of showing concern for Jesus, they are concerned about their positions in Jesus’ kingdom. They want power, status, and position. They acknowledged that Jesus is the Messiah, but they still don’t know what kind of Messiah he is. They think that Jesus came to overthrow the Roman government and set up the new kingdom of Israel. They desire greatness so much to the point that they do not even hear what Jesus has just told them. They care about their personal glory more than Jesus’ glory. And this is also a picture of us. There is nothing wrong with desiring greatness, but sin has made us blind to true greatness. We think greatness is when we get a seat of power and status. But that is not greatness. The desire to have the right seat is pride. It’s like going to a wedding reception at which we have no significance at all, and we have to look for our table number. Has anyone been there? Let me give some words of advice from my experience. Don’t start at table one and work down. Start at table twenty and work up. Trust me, it’s far less painful.
But let me tell you something about us. We are smarter than John and James. We have our ways to cover our selfishness and make it sound spiritual. Am I right? One time, a girl calls her boyfriend who she just dumped a month earlier. She says, “Hi Dave, I’ve been thinking about you. I’ve been thinking of the times we spent together, the memories we had, the laughter we enjoyed, and I really miss it. I miss everything about you. I miss cooking for you. I miss going on a trip with you. I miss watching Netflix with you. I miss you and I want you to know that I want to get back together with you. And by the way, congratulation on winning the lottery.” That’s us. We are experts at hiding our true motives and making it sound like God glorifying while we desire our own glory. Let’s continue.
Mark 10:38-40 – 38 Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” 39 And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, 40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”
Jesus tells John and James that they have no idea what they are asking. He says, “Okay, you want the glory. But what about the cross? There is no glory without the cross. Can you drink the cup that I drink and be baptized with my baptism?” And they reply confidently, “Yes, we can.” Jesus probably sighs. And he says, “Okay, you will indeed partake in the suffering that I am going through.” Remember that Jesus already told all his disciples that whoever wants to follow him must deny themselves and carry their cross. So, everyone who follows Jesus will drink the cup that Jesus drink and be baptized with Jesus’ baptism. No exception. Everyone who follows Jesus will suffer. But their suffering and Jesus’ suffering are not the same. Jesus experiences suffering on a cosmic level that they will never have to. No one suffers like Jesus. And Jesus continues, “You will suffer. But your suffering does not guarantee the best spots in my kingdom. Because it is not mine to grant. Those spots have been reserved by my Father for whom it has been prepared from the eternal past.” We are not told for whom they have been prepared. But one thing is for sure. People whom we think are going to be in those special spots are not going to be there. And the most unlikely people we would ever think would probably be there. Because that’s how the kingdom of God operates. The first shall be last and the last shall be first. And this point is emphasized in what happens next.
Mark 10:41-44 – 41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. 42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.
When the other ten disciples hear it, they are upset with John and James. And they are not upset because James and John are being rude to Jesus. They are not saying, “I can’t believe you just ask Jesus for a place of status and power. Did you not hear what he just said? He just told us that he is going to die. And now you ask him for a seat on his right and left? How oblivious are you?!” No. They are saying, “How dare you ask him for a seat on his right and left? What gives you the right to ask him for it? We want it as well.” They are upset because they want the same thing as John and James. And these people are the future leaders of the church. They are the ones who will continue Jesus’ mission in the future. I think of it this way. I imagine talking to RSI leaders and telling them, “Beloveds, I have important news to tell you. I have a terminal illness and I am dying. I only have a few weeks to live. So, I am going to trust the future of RSI into your hands.” And they say, “Which one of us gets to keep your Toyota 86?” This is what’s happening. The disciples are upset because they want the best seats in Jesus’ kingdom.
But Jesus, being the great teacher he is, does not waste this opportunity. He seized this opportunity to teach the disciples the crucial value of the kingdom of God. He says, “You have got the whole kingdom of God wrong. The way that the kingdom of this world operates is that rulers who have authority use their authority to command others. They use their power to dominate others. But not in my kingdom. In my kingdom, if you want to be great, you must be a servant. And if you want to be first, you must be a slave of all.” In other words, Jesus is not opposed to greatness. He does not condemn them for wanting to be great, for wanting to be first. But he tells them that the recipe for greatness is radically different from what they have in mind. The recipe for greatness is not to be great but to be a servant; it is not to be first but to be a slave of all. This is the upside-down value of the kingdom of God. And let me be honest with you, I do not like this text. I prefer to be served than to serve. I prefer to command than to be told what to do. I prefer to play by the rulebook of the kingdom of this world than the kingdom of God. But Jesus is very clear. If we are part of his kingdom, we don’t go by the value of this world. Get this. In the kingdom of God, greatness is found in service rather than power, prestige, and authority. Honour is found in giving, not getting. The way up is down. If we want to be great, then we must spend our lives serving others. This is how we become great in the kingdom of God.
Can you see how radically different the value of the kingdom of God is to this world? And it never goes well when the church seeks a position of honour and influence in society. How do I know? Look at church history. Every time the church tries to be socially acceptable, intellectually affirmable, and regarded as significant by the world, it never ends well. Because the power of the church lies precisely in its counter-cultural value. The church doesn’t become great by becoming like the world but by serving the world with the gospel. In fact, you don’t even have to read church history. In the last few years, we have had many sad examples of megachurches that exploded because they tried to operate like the world. They tried to gain influence by using power to dominate others. It is not going to work. Why? Because that’s the opposite of what Jesus does.
Look at what Jesus says next. It is beautiful. Mark 10:45 – For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. In this verse, Jesus gives us the reason why greatness comes through serving. Think about it. If there is anyone who deserved to be served, it is Jesus. Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God in flesh. He is the Creator of the universe. Everything exists because of Jesus, through Jesus, and for Jesus. There is no one higher than Jesus. But he says, “I came not to be served but to serve.” And the word ‘serve’ literally means to wait on tables. Imagine you go to a restaurant, and the waiter comes to your table and says, “Hi, my name is Jesus. What can I get you? How can I serve you?” You are like, “Wait, what? Your name is Jesus? As in Mexican Jesus?” He says, “I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. What can I get you? I’m here to serve you.” And I know this sounds heretical, but this is Christianity. Christianity is God came to us not to be served by us but to serve us. Jesus came to be the lowly servant who gave his life for us.
It means that in our relationship with Jesus, we are not serving Jesus; Jesus is serving us. Let me tell you why this is good news. Many of us are exhausted in our walk with Jesus because we are putting an impossible weight and burden on ourselves that is not ours to carry. We think that Jesus needs our help. We think that Jesus needs us to serve him. But we get it wrong. Jesus does not need us to serve him. Jesus is not seeking those who want to serve him. Jesus is seeking those who want to be served. And this is something radical about Christianity. Every other religion teaches that we must serve God to make God happy. But Christianity teaches that God is a God who finds delight in serving those who are needy. The gospel is not Jesus loves to be served. The gospel is Jesus loves to serve. We don’t come to Jesus to serve him. We come to Jesus to be served by him.
Think about how we become Christians. What happened? The Christian life begins when we realize that we have sinned against God and there is nothing we can do to make ourselves right with God. It does not matter how often we go to church, read the Bible, pray, and do good works, nothing can cover our sins before God. It means that our only hope is for God to do something for us. We need God to serve us. We need God to forgive our sins and free us from our sins. And Jesus says, “This is why I came. I came to serve you. I came to give my life as payment for your sins. I came to die on your behalf.” And the moment we let Jesus serve us, we are forgiven of all our sins. And we are given Jesus’ perfect righteousness. But it does not stop there. We do not move from being served by Jesus to serving Jesus. Listen. The Christian life is a daily life of being served by Jesus. The Christian life is a life dependent on Jesus. What is prayer? Prayer is a way for us to say, “God I cannot do this. I need your help. I need you to serve me.” How do we read the Bible? Let’s be honest. How many of you have ever fallen asleep while reading the Bible? Leviticus, anyone? Why? Because we can’t read the Bible on our own strength. When we do, it is just empty words with no power. We need God to serve us and open our eyes to behold his beauty in the Bible. That’s how we are transformed. How do we battle sins in our lives? We can’t. We need God to serve us and help us see his beauty. We need God to help us treasure his promises more than the empty promise of sin. This is the heart of Christianity. This is the gospel. We do not come to Jesus to give to Jesus but to receive from Jesus. Jesus is the lowliest of servants. And listen. If at the very heart of the gospel is a man who gave his life to serve others, then the way we become great is through giving our lives to serve others.
Mark 10:46-50 – 46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.
This is the last story of Jesus’ healing in the book of Mark. And in it, we can see Jesus’s example of serving others. What’s interesting about this miracle is that we are given the name of the person who received the miracle. This is unusual. The name of the person is Bartimaeus. And there is a stark contrast between him and the disciples. Bartimaeus is a blind beggar. And we know that a blind person is helpless. He cannot do anything on his own. He relies on the kindness of other people around him to survive. And one day, he hears that Jesus is passing by. Now, we don’t know how he knows about Jesus. Maybe he heard people talk about Jesus as they walked past him. But he knows enough of Jesus to cry out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” This is important. The Son of David is another title for Messiah. In other words, Bartimaeus is calling Jesus Messiah. Somehow, he put the two and two together and concludes that Jesus is the Messiah sent by God. And all he asks of Jesus is mercy. That’s it. This is very different from John and James. When John and James think of Jesus’ messiahship, they think of power and status. When Bartimaeus think of Jesus’ messiahship, he thinks of mercy. He is helpless and he needs Jesus to serve him. He cries out, “Jesus, the Messiah, have mercy on me!”
And when the crowd hears him, they say, “Who do you think you are? You are just a blind beggar. Why do you think Jesus would want to have anything to do with you? Just be quiet. Here is $0.50. Stop making noise.” But Bartimaeus is desperate. The more people tell him to shut up, the louder he shouts. And what happens next is amazing. Jesus stops. Can you imagine what is happening? Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem. Jesus is set on giving his life for the sins of the world. But he hears someone cries out to him for mercy. And he stops. Even on his way to the cross, Jesus is not too busy to stop for Bartimaeus. Jesus stops for the lowliest of the low. He stops for a poor and powerless person. And he says, “Someone is crying out for mercy. Bring him to me.” And now the crowd is like, “Oh wow. This must be your lucky day, Bart. Take heart. Jesus is calling you.” One moment they tell him to shut up, and the next moment they are cheering for him. Bartimaeus quickly gets up and comes to Jesus.
Mark 10:51-52 – 51 And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way. So now, Jesus is face to face with the blind man. He asks, “What do you want me to do for you?” Does it sound familiar? This is the same question Jesus asked John and James when they came to him. But the answer is very different. John and James asked for seats of power and honour. Bartimaeus simply asks, “Jesus, I just want to be able to see. I need you to let me recover my sight. I need you to serve me.” And Jesus says, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately Bartimaeus recovers his sight. The blind man can see instantaneously. And here is what’s beautiful. Jesus tells him to go his way. If I were him, I would choose to go and enjoy my new sight. I would go travelling and sightseeing #YOLO. But not him. The moment Bartimaeus opens his eyes, the first thing he sees is the face of Jesus. He sees the face of his merciful saviour. And he is sold. He will not go anywhere else. From that moment forward, Bartimaeus follows Jesus. Bartimaeus follows Jesus on the road to Calvary. And many scholars believe that the only reason Mark gives us his name is that Bartimaeus becomes one of the prominent figures in the early church. And it happens because Jesus stopped to serve the lowliest of the low who cried out for mercy. This is greatness.
Let me close with this. All of us are like Bartimaeus. We were blind until Jesus stopped and showed us mercy. We were blind until Jesus gave us sight. We were poor beggars until he became our ransom and saved us. We had nothing but need and Jesus served us with grace. Praise God Jesus stopped for Bartimaeus. Praise God Jesus stopped for you and me. And the same Jesus who stopped for Bartimaeus still stops for anyone who calls on his name. The question is, have you called out to him? Imagine how tragic it would have been if Bartimaeus had heard of Jesus walking by but never cried out to him in faith. If he did not raise his voice at that very moment, he would have missed his chance to receive sight and he would have been lost forever. Today, Jesus has come your way. Will you call out to him in faith? Because Jesus still hears, Jesus still cares, Jesus still stops, and Jesus still saves. All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. Let’s pray.
- What usually comes to mind when you think of the word “great”? Give some personal examples of people whom you think are great and why.
- “All life-changing love is substitutionary sacrifice.” Can you think of other daily-life examples beside parenting? Elaborate.
- Explain the difference between Jesus’ definition of greatness and the world’s definition of greatness? How should you pursue greatness? Be specific.
- “The church doesn’t become great by becoming like the world but by serving the world with the gospel.” List out some implications of this sentence.
- Why is it good news that our primary relationship with Jesus is not about us serving Jesus but Jesus serving us?
- What step(s) do you need to take to live more dependent on Jesus?