Peter commented to Jesus, “We have left everything to follow you!”
As a background, Peter left his occupation as a fisherman to follow Jesus and became one of His first disciples, believing that Jesus is the coming king who will save him and his nation from the oppressors. Jesus began His reply with a commendation of Peter’s sacrifice (Mark 10:29-31):
“Truly I tell you, no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
Jesus confronts Peter’s subtle attempt to put himself on top as the most devoted, the most sacrificial, and the most spiritual among those who followed Him. Peter has expressed the “me-first” attitude that keeps coming through in the disciples’ behavior despite Jesus’ repeated efforts to teach them differently.
How do you measure greatness? Most businesses, organizations, and institutions measure greatness by high personal achievement. But Jesus told them that true greatness comes in serving others. In Christ’s kingdom, service is the way to get ahead. The desire to be on top will hinder, not help (Life Application Bible).
Service is honoring people. The Bible tells us to honor one another above ourselves (Rom. 12:10). Giving honor is something like you’re giving value or weight of importance to another. That means to grant a person a position of respect and even authority in one’s life.
According to Michael Tan, Executive Vice-Pres. of Eagles Communications, it takes a desire to serve in order to be a passionate leader. Nothing is significant is ever done without service. Society nowadays is looking for stars in order to support their own agenda of profit-making; e.g. reality-based TV shows. In the world’s eyes, stars are more important. But God is looking for people who are willing to give up their position and serve people.
A star may have a big name and image, but a servant is willing to give up a big name and image to serve others. A true servant believes that as he serves, he is blessed. For some people, it’s all about them. For others, it’s all about you. Like author Leil Lowndes says, “There are two kinds of people in this life. Those who walk into a room and say, ‘Well, here I am’ And those who walk in and say, ‘Ahh, there you are.’”
Albert Einstein reminded us that “life isn’t worth living, unless it is lived for someone else.” And toward the end of his life, he removed the portraits of two scientists — Isaac Newton and James Maxwell — from his wall. He replaced them with portraits of Mahatma Gandhi and Albert Schweitzer. Einstein explained that it was time to replace the image of success with the image of service.
A Personal Project: Are you only focused on your own needs or, are you looking around on lessening the burdens of others? Are you mostly trying to make yourself happy, or are you interested in the happiness of those around you? Start looking around where to be involved with and serve; may it be in your family, school, community or even in your local church.