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The Greatness of Service.

The Greatness of Service.

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Published by glennpease

"They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit,
one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand,
in thy glory." (Mark x. 37.)

"They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit,
one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand,
in thy glory." (Mark x. 37.)

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 22, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE GREATESS OF SERVICE.BY BISHOP SETH WARD, D.D."They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit,one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand,in thy glory." (Mark x. 37.)AMBITIO is said to be the sin by which theangels fell, and men are charged to "flingaway ambition." If the term be used in thesense given to it by the lexicographers, then am-bition is always and altogether wrong. But likemany another word, this one has been largelytransformed by current usage. If by ambitionwe mean a strong desire and an earnest purposeto attain to high things and to achieve great ones,then ambition is wrong only when it is wrong — when the object sought is unworthy or the seekeris actuated by motives other than the highest.In the passage just read we have an accountof two young men — two ambitious young men — who approached our Lord with a request thathad in it a certain measure of audacity. Jesushad been talking much to them about a king-dom — the kingdom of God. He had been fillingtheir minds with imperial ideas, and had quick-ened into new life the national ideals that werepresent, even if latent, in the heart of every loyal(251)252 COQUERIG FORCES.
Hebrew. To be sure, they had not fully under-stood his teachings — very far from it — but theywere sure that events were converging to a crisisand that marked changes were in the immediatefuture. On this day they came to Jesus and withsome degree of hesitancy submitted their request :"We would sit, the one on thy right hand, andthe other on thy left, in thy glory." Whateverwere their conceptions of the kingdom he was toestablish, in their thought greatness was asso-ciated with eminence of position. They aspiredto greatness, to prominence in the kingdom of their Lord. What a tribute was their request tothe teaching and influence of their Master ! Aft-er three short years of companionship with Jesusthese fishermen were aspiring to be the associatesand ministers of royalty. The surest mark of agreat teacher is power to awaken in the minds of his pupils high aspirations and noble purposes.At least one feature of the conduct of these youngmen was most commendable. W T ith their arousedaspirations, with life's problems and life's possi-bilities looming large before them, they went di-rectly to Jesus with their requests. The imagi-nation cannot picture a more impressive sceneTHE GREATESS OF SERVICE. 253than that : ambitious young manhood in the pres-ence of the Son of God asking for some highplace in his service. It is not strange that ourLord gave forth in that hour the great teachingsthat are preserved for us in this passage. Hegently but positively rebuked their spirit in sofar as it was selfish and unworthy. He reversedideals of life that had been current through theages, and taught them and the world the nature
and the quality of true greatness. The world'sidea of greatness was associated with high posi-tions and great possessions — dominion over men,lordship over nations, power to direct the move-ments and control the destinies of individuals andof races. James and John, if not wholly pos-sessed of that ideal, were certainly not free fromit. But Jesus said it should not be so among hisfollowers. He would set up in the world a high-er and truer standard of greatness. "He thatwould be great among you shall be not lord, butservant; and he that would be greatest of all mustbe servant of all" I will not say that this is thegreatest teaching that Jesus gave to the world,but surely in all the wealth of truth given for itsenrichment there is none greater than this.254 COQUERIG FORCES.He taught those young men and the youngmanhood of the world that real greatness is inservice. Most of us indulge, to some extent atleast, in hero worship. The soul, unless it bedead, instinctively pays tribute to a great man.By great men we usually mean those who in waror politics, commerce or literature have forged tothe front, grasping great power and reachinghigh place. The world's ideas of greatness clingto us still. But the greatest man in the world,according to Christ's estimate of greatness, is hewho renders greatest service to the world, he whomost fully expends his life in blessings on his fel-low men. Life is to be measured not by what wereceive, but by what we achieve ; not by what weget out of the world for the enjoyment or the ag-grandizement of self, but by what we put into theworld for the enlightenment and enrichment of mankind; not by the height of the position we

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