In today’s reading, Jesus promises a kingdom to those who have stood by Him in His trials, a kingdom that comes from having served, not from achieving greatness or victory. Whether this is a promise for the disciples alone, or the kingdom conferred on those who followed Him extends to us too is open to debate. Certainly no-one could know for sure merely from these verses.
What is clear is that Jesus desires and enjoys faithfulness and honour from those who follow Him. I have a tendency to try and be funny, or clever, or flashy. Sometimes these things can be useful elements in ministry, friendships and so on, but more often, straightforward faithful, dependable service and a life lived with God as my priority is the thing that really draws people in and keeps them interested in a relationship with God. If only my life was more like that more often. If only I could learn that greatness doesn’t come from popularity or achievement, but it is given to me by God, it is His to give and His alone. In a way it doesn’t matter what I, or others, think. God’s declaration of life, hope and a future is more worthwhile, lasting and reliable than anything else I can put my trust in.
I wish I lived like that instead of trying to be the greatest all the time, that I prioritised the good of others and the growing of the Kingdom over and above my own happiness and needs. Maybe you feel a bit like that today too. Let’s see what we can do about it this week.