If you want to discuss some of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time, the name of Muhammed Ali is going to come up. But he’s not the only one who has claimed they were the greatest.
Welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — thanks for joining me … I’m not the greatest anything – but this is a great spot for a cup of coffee and some conversation about great stuff. My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today speaks to your heart, then let me invite you to like, subscribe and share it with a friend!
Cassius Clay released his “I Am The Greatest” album in August 1963. Just six months later he beat Sonny Liston (for the first time) and became boxing’s heavyweight champion of the world. He apparently “had it all.” Then he abandoned the Christian faith in which he had been raised, converted to Islam, changed his name to Muhammed Ali — and lost everything forever. When you abandon Jesus, you always do.
When you lose sight of who Jesus truly is, you began to see yourself as more important. It’s been happening since the disciples walked the earth with Him, and it continues to this day.
In Matthew’s gospel we read about a time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” Luke sheds some additional light in his gospel. This question was brought to Jesus because an argument started among the disciples as to which of THEM might be the greatest. Can you imagine?? First one apostle putting forth his claim to being the greatest among them, and then another, and then another still. Putting one another down and exalting themselves. The ultimate my-faith-is-better-than-yours competition. The “holier than thou” Olympics. So they finally go ask Jesus to settle the dispute.
In 1999 American country musician Kenny Rogers released “The Greatest.” It was a song about a boy who took a bat and ball out to a field determined to demonstrate that he is the greatest hitter. Pushed on by imaginary cheers, he swings again and again at the ball – missing every time. When called home for dinner, the lad announces to his Mom that he’s an amazing pitcher!
We can laugh at the song and smile at the child, but pride does that in us, too. Our pride lets us hear imaginary crowds cheering our imaginary accomplishments as we deceive ourselves. Then we gather people around us who will tell us how great we are. Then, of course, we argue with others that we are greater than they could ever be. Our faith is stronger. Our wisdom is wiser. Our understanding deeper. An on and on and on.
We see all of our “accomplishments” as the best. We shoot arrows at random and draw bullseyes around them wherever they land.
The disciples were so impressed with how spiritual THEY were that they even went to Jesus to get His ruling on which one of them was the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. How blind they were!!! They were speaking with the ONLY ONE who could be counted as the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, and didn’t see it. They had forgotten about Jesus !!!! And all too often, neither do we.
The One who can truly say “I AM THE GREATEST in the Kingdom of Heaven” didn’t say it.
What He did say is our verse for today. I DIDN’T COME TO BE SERVED. I CAME TO SERVE, AND TO GIVE MY LIFE AS A RANSOM FOR MANY.
And serve He did. At the table of the Last Supper, when no one wanted to take the lowest role and wash the feet of those assembled – Jesus did it. When it was time to leave the grandeur of heaven and take on human flesh – Jesus did it. When it was time for the price of sin to be paid – Jesus did it.
He truly is THE greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
And He calls us to be servants of one another. To humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. Not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought. To take the towel and be the lowest servant. He alone is worthy, and we are just servants. All of us.
Let us serve Him well. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you.
HE is the greatest. And He came to serve.