When two of Jesus’ disciples began clamoring for honor and power, Jesus set the record straight. Greatness, he said, is achieved not through position but through service. The Apostle Paul echoed many of the same thoughts when he instructed the church in Philippi:
Philippians 2:1-4 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being likeminded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Individuals cannot be great in the Kingdom without developing the heart of a servant. A church cannot be great in the Kingdom unless it, too, reflects the heart of a servant.
Servants are more concerned about others’ needs than their own. They don’t care about recognition or status – only meeting needs in the name of Jesus. Such attitudes are clearly not human nature. As babies we come into the world pretty self-centered. It’s tough to ever completely outgrow those tendencies. Only the transforming power of the Holy Spirit can mold us into servants like Jesus.