“But Jesus called them to Himself and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.’ “—Matthew 20:25-28.
Often being desirous of prestige, men tend to be driven towards a more domineering behavior. It’s in our fallen nature to lust after power and fame and to derive our sense of masculine validation from the intoxicating effects of authority.
For example, all men are called to be leaders of households. God has said that a man is the “head” (Ephesians 5:23). However, headship does not mean superiority; it is a role of leadership. Godly headship/leadership implies that a man serves and love his family as Christ serves and loves His church (Ephesians 5:25). A godly man does not abuse his authority in seeking his way, but he uses his leadership influence as an opportunity to love, protect, and nurture those under his care, as Christ has exemplified greatness in leadership in doing the same for us.
According to Jesus, the definition of greatness is a life of self-sacrifice and servitude. A desire to be great necessitates that we desire to serve others as Jesus laid down His life to help us. And in laying down His life, He demonstrated the greatness of the love of God. Greatness is not to exalt oneself. As Proverbs 25:27 says, “…To seek one’s own glory is not glory.”
Greatness is to dedicate one’s life to the sole purpose of exalting God. And in doing so, we display the love of God to the world around us. For though He was the King of kings, Christ did not come to coerce us into serving Him, but He chose to stoop down to our level and show forth His love by the sacrifice of Himself. And through His sacrifice, He has saved us from the destruction of our sin and has drawn us to Himself. To be great is not to seek glory from people, but to serve others as one whose example of self-sacrifice brings people closer to God.
As Christians, we are called to serve others as Christ served us. Whether it be on the job, in the home, or ministry, we should be demonstrating the life-changing love of God to others by giving ourselves to serve.
Life is not about us! It’s about Him! And as long as we seek our success, fame, or prestige, we will only be alienating the people that God told us to point to Him by a demonstration of His love.
Be selfless! Prefer others over yourself. Seek the good of others, and bless them, especially when they don’t deserve it. Remember, masculinity is not about being powerful. It’s about being purposeful—purposeful to represent Jesus wherever we go.