Read Mark 10:35-45.
How many times does Jesus have to correct his disciples’ understanding of true greatness, of what honor looks like in the kingdom of God, and of what he came to do?! He’s been describing to them his upcoming arrest and tortuous death, and they are still imagining some sort of regal scene in which Jesus has overthrown those in power. They can see themselves sitting in the places of honor at either side. That is what they believe will be the reward for following him.
Again, Jesus reminds them that greatness doesn’t come from the admiration of others. It doesn’t come from any of the titles we’ve earned or been given. In the kingdom of God, true greatness is reflected in the way we serve, in genuine humility, in paying attention to the needs of the world around us. True greatness comes in modeling our lives on the One who showed us what servant leadership looks like.
Think of the people you have considered “great”. What made them great? What characteristics and qualities did you admire? Which of their traits remind you of Jesus? Offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the people who seem to reflect what you believe Jesus is describing in this passage and commit yourself to better serving others in the name of Jesus.