Suggested reading: Matthew chapter 20 verses 17-34
How would you describe ‘greatness’? Jesus’s words expose the view of ungodly men and women: ‘YOU know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them’, verse 25. Any thought of COMPASSION does not sit comfortably in such a context! It is a tragedy if Christians were to define greatness in this way. Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Yet it shall not be so among you’, verse 26. There is, of course, nothing wrong in aspiring to greatness, as long as we understand that greatness in God’s eyes means becoming a servant and being chief means becoming a slave, verses 26-27.
Jesus had taught His disciples the pathway of greatness during His three years with them. Firstly, He taught them that it is a pathway of suffering. He was the greatest among them; yet, He was going to Jerusalem to be betrayed, mocked, beaten, condemned, scourged and crucified! Secondly, He revealed that it was a pathway of sacrificial service. Thirdly, it is the pathway of simple faith.
Two blind men, sitting by the wayside, verse 30, is hardly a scene of greatness in the estimation of the world! Nevertheless, they displayed the simple faith that the seemingly great men surrounding them knew nothing of. They realised who Jesus was and had the faith to cry, ‘Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David! . . . that our eyes may be opened’, verses 31,33. Such faith earned them the crowd’s rebuke but touched the heart of Jesus: ‘So Jesus had COMPASSION on them and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him’, verse 34.
Are our hearts moved with compassion towards the needy that we meet every day in our lives?