I read an interesting article today on one of my favorite ministries pages. It was written to honor Billy Graham. I share their admiration for his life and legacy. But I am not sure that the accolades of his effects for the Kingdom of God are necessarily correct. Be assured, this is not a denigration of his life and work. But what we in our society consider noteworthy is quite often totally without merit in the Kingdom of God. Jesus said that the greatest in the Kingdom of God is the one who is the servant of all. In the context of that thought the “servant of all” was the least in line of importance. He was the footwasher, the sweeper, the mopper, the cleaner-uper. How many garbage collectors do you know who have made the national headlines? How many janitors draw thousands to watch them do their job? The answer is obvious.
The world judges who is great by how many he or she attracts to their persona. The Kingdom of God judges greatness by how you serve and the level at which you serve. That level is not the top echelon, but the bottom. By being at the bottom one can be a servant of all. Paul, the apostle said it this way; “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” Herein is greatness in the Kingdom of God. Not by the crowds we attract but by the individuals that we can serve. And what is the goal of that service? It is that they might receive salvation and enter the Kingdom of God.
Consider Jesus’ ministry on earth. Though He spoke to crowds and for a while the crowds adored Him, His true ministry and fruit was found in twelve disciples. Even in the twelve one was an enemy. The crowds who had thronged Him at one point were quickly depleted when the true evidence of the Kingdom was revealed. In John 6 Jesus sets down the guidelines of the Kingdom of God. He used terms such as “eat my flesh” and “drink my blood”. Clearly these are references to blood covenant which means that one must give up his life, with its’ desires and goals and interest to take up the goal of the Kingdom. People left following Jesus in droves. Even to the point that Jesus asked the disciples if they would leave Him also. Jesus was making it known that entering the Kingdom of God is an intimate personal action which takes place between two individuals (in this case, Jesus and you, no one else). Jesus never treated any one as a member of the crowd. You are unique. And that is how Jesus addresses you. When He reveals Himself to you, there is no one else involved. If there were, then Jesus would have to share the credit with someone else. That question was settled on the cross when Jesus stated, “It is finished”(completed).
In my own growth in the Christian life there have been many who have impacted me. Most of these you would never know or recognize if I were to name them. But these servants are great in the Kingdom of God because they daily go about being a servant to everyone they meet. Their goal in serving is to share the good news of the Kingdom of God and to plant the Word of God into the lives of many whereby they too may enter the Kingdom of God.
A few years back I heard a reporter say that he had asked Billy Graham this question:”If you had it all to do over, would you have done anything different?” How wise was Billy Graham. He said, ”I would have chosen twelve men and would have discipled them to be followers of Jesus.” That is a true servant.
May we, who call ourselves Christian, be the servants that this world needs so that through the sharing of the Good News with individuals many will enter the Kingdom.