What is greatness? It is a tendency for a human person to seek greatness. We cannot deny the fact that greatness makes a human person famous. Greatness glorifies the entirety of the human person’s being. Greatness makes man appear the most intelligent, honorable, successful, rich, brilliant and best among the rest. We could easily affirm into our own insight that these are today’s world definition or description of greatness for we cannot deny the fact that we are “in” the world and we are being affected by its rapid changes. But, when I am reading and reflecting upon Matthew 20:17-28, the world’s perspective on greatness seems so different and contradictory to Jesus’ perspective on greatness, i.e. to be servant of all.
As I am reflecting upon Matthew 20:17-28, I learned and realized that for Jesus to be great is not to appear as the strongest link or entity in the world rather to be great means to be humble and to serve the least, the weakest, the dumb, the poor, and the less fortunate among the rest without any prejudices, stereotypes, and biases against them. Greatness is humility in service. Humility in service is not doing what you want for them, but doing what God wants for them. It is not for the sake of uplifting, glorifying and remembering our names and identities on them, but it is a total giving of our life, our time, our talents and capacities, and our support to the people whom we know are incapable and in need. It is not an alibi to close our hearts to the needy, rather it is an exercise for us to open our closed hearts to them and to be ready to serve them, to listen to them, to mingle with the, and to be with them.
Matthew 20:17-28 is a strong and radical reminder and invitation for me and for all who are seeking to be great in life. Thus, Jesus is inviting us with these words; “whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”