“For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to that one by whom he is betrayed!" Then they began to ask one another, which one of them it could be who would do this. A dispute also arose among them as to which one of them was to be regarded as the greatest.” Luke 22:22-24

These three sentences are such a brilliant glimpse into the human condition we all live with every day. Jesus lays down this thought – someone will betray him, woe to that person. Understandably, those that hear immediately begin to question one another. And then, somehow, they end up in an argument about their own greatness. Yep, that sounds like us.

We are so uncomfortable with our shortcomings that conversations like these often turn instead to a feeble comparison of strength – “I’m greater than you.” You can almost hear the disciples make the shift,

“Well, it certainly isn’t me that’s going to betray him. I’m too good.”
“You’re too good? Ha! Jesus always liked me best!”
“You? I heard he almost didn’t even invite you.”

See what I mean? It’s an argument that takes hundreds of different shapes in our world. My guess is, as I’ve mentioned, we become so uncomfortable with our faults and insecurities that we feel our best bet is to measure those up against others faults and insecurities – sort of like a race to the bottom. This is even backed up in other places in scripture, take for instance the Pharisee’s prayer in Luke 18, “‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.” We all have a tendency to use other people’s weaknesses as proof (faulty as they may be) of our strength.

So, for today, let your greatness rest not in your own hands. Not in your accomplishments or in your strengths, and also not in the weaknesses of others. Let your greatness rest in the fact that in your weakness, God is stronger. You are creation, He is Creator. You are beloved, He is Love. You are only great because you are made in His image. So wait for Him to come to us – he’ll soon be here.

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