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The Measure of Greatness

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The Measure of Greatness

Text: Mark 10:35-45 (NIV)

35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”

38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”

39 “We can,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, 40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”

41 When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. 42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”


I.        Introduction:

II.      Contemplate The Tempting Quest For Superiority: A Solicited Position

A.      Asking for Partiality: Seeking Privilige

B.      Asking for Particulars: Seeking Perspective

C.      Asking for Prominence: Seeking Power

III.   Appreciate The Tough Qualifications For Honor: A Suitable Perception

A.      An Honor Requested Lightly

B.      An Honor Received Sacrificially

C.      An Honor Reserved Faithfully

IV.    Imitate The True Quality of Greatness: A Sacrificial Posture

A.      Artificial Greatness Resented

1.       Elevation: Greatness Through Ambition

2.       Domination: Greatness Through Power

B.      Actual Greatness Revealed

1.       Humiliation: Greatness Through Serving

2.       Demonstration: Greatness Through Example

V.      Conclusion:


[1] The Holy Bible : New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

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