What your definition of “Great” is …

Tony the Tiger

Who doesn’t want to be “great”? It was Tony the Tiger’s signature adjective, describing a sugar-coated cereal that some of us grew up on. The implication was that, because the cereal was “great,” anyone who ate it could be “great” as well.

President Trump’s budget document which is released today is titled: “A New Foundation for American Greatness.” It proposes a 57% increase in military and border security spending, cuts in taxes and programs associated with “welfare”. It leaves in place Social Security and Medicare.

And then there is Jesus. The word in Greek is μέγας – “megas”. Jesus teaches: “Whoever wishes to be great (megas) among you must be your servant.” (Matthew 20:26.) A quick review in Strong’s Concordance offers up the following definition of the word: 

  • In terms of space and dimension: spacious, large, of great weight;
  • in measure, long;
  • as affecting the senses: violent, mighty, strong;
  • stature and age: great, old;
  • of persons: eminent for ability, virtue, authority;

When it comes to people who follow Jesus, being “great” and being “first” imply two things: the willingness to serve, and the willingness to go to the back of the line, allowing others to go ahead of you. Maybe this is why Jesus got into so much trouble. He was unwilling to sugar-coat the message; he refused to cater to people with money; and he was willing to be last – dead last.

That’s what makes for “greatness” and leads to joy.

A blessed Tuesday.

Mark Demers

Want to talk about sex, politics, spirituality? So do I. I grew up in a religious home in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Our country was reeling from assassinations and the devastation of the Viet Nam War. Looking for something beautiful, I got a degree in music, married the love of my life and had children. Looking for God, I then went to seminary. Looking for something that might transform the world, I became a local church pastor. Now, I’m always looking for people who want to talk about important things. I cherish conversations with emerging leaders, people who are antsy to try an idea they believe would change the world for the better. I’d would love to hear from you.