Gospel of Mark | The GOAT | Mark 9.33-37 | movementministriesblog.com

by | Mar 23, 2024

Tom Brady, recently retired, a seven-time Super Bowl-winning, record-setting NFL quarterback, is often thought of as the GOAT, the “Greatest Of All Time.” And it might just be true. He has won more championships than anyone, set many records, and carried success to two different teams.

Now, imagine having dinner with Brady and boasting about your own sporting achievements. I don’t care who you are, unless you are Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods, you wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. There is no way that your individual success in sports could match what Brady accomplished in his twenty-plus years.

Now, replace Brady with Jesus. You’re hanging out with him, walking alongside him on the road from one town to another, from one miracle to another, and your focus begins to shift from him to you. And you begin to think that you’ve got it all together. Maybe that you are a “big deal” or “hot stuff.” And rather than hanging with Brady, you are hanging with GOD. And in God’s presence, you begin to talk about your own achievements, successes, and accolades. How ridiculous would that be! This is exactly what the twelve were doing – discussing their own “greatness.”

There are many issues wrong with this conversation. First and most obvious, is that no one’s greatness could even compare to Jesus. He far and above outranks us in every category. Second, our focus should never be on ourselves when we could be giving God glory.

Jesus could have made fun of the disciples for making these two grave mistakes; he could have embarrassed or humiliated them, but he doesn’t. He says something about anyone who wants to be first must be the servant of all and then takes a child in his arms to illustrate humility.

As self-centered humans, we can really mess it up at times. And yet, God, in his infinite mercy and grace, redirects our selfishness and points it back to himself — the One who is truly worthy of all our worship and focus.

“O Lord God, please forgive us when we focus upon ourselves! Forgive us for taking credit when we should be giving you praise. As we begin Holy Week tomorrow, we can’t help but give you glory. For your path to the cross and beyond paved the way for us to have redemption and salvation. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill us with your grace and love. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen