“Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
- Matthew 11.11
It is a wonderful distinction if you are the leader of a church, but it would be better by far that you assume in a worthy manner the patrimony of the King.
- The Rule of Carthage, Irish, 7th century
Christians are not exempt from the cult of celebrity. We put on a pedestal those who have large ministries, are prolific writers, or who do worthy spiritual deeds. These become the standard by which we measure “greatness” in the Kingdom.
Do you see that guy with the big church? He’s far more successful than I am with my little congregation.
Have you read the latest book by Pastor so-and-so? He’s the hottest thing these days.
And so it goes.
Even within our own churches those in leadership roles or who are most visible on Sunday are considered to be the real Kingdom workers. The rest of us? Not so much.
Jesus encouraged His followers not to measure their worth against the achievements of others. Even the least participant in the Kingdom of God, who is faithful as a steward over the patrimony entrusted to him, is greater than the greatest man outside the Kingdom of God.
Greatness in Jesus’ eyes is determined by faithfulness with what He has entrusted to you. If He has given you a large church, then be faithful. If He has given you a home to manage, a family to raise, and a church in which to worship and serve, then be faithful.
Every work that is faithfully done is beautiful in the eyes of the Lord. We are great even in our leastness when we receive with gratitude what God has given us, and, in the power of the Lord Jesus, put it to work to create a return of glory on God’s investment in our lives.
The prophet told us not to despise the day of small beginnings; nor should we despise the patrimony of the Lord that He has put at our disposal, be it ever so meager.
Jesus knows how to make leastness count for greatness when His people are faithful.
Psalm 25.4, 5, 10 (Festal Song: “Revive Thy Work, O Lord”)
Make me to know Your ways, teach me Your paths, O Lord!
My Savior, all day long I wait and seek You in Your Word.
The paths of God are all of love and faithfulness;
All they who keep His covenant the Lord will surely bless.
Thank You for my leastness, Lord. Help me to be faithful in it, and to rejoice in You.