I have been reading through the gospels in the last few days. I am ending Luke tomorrow.
What stikes me lately is God’s call on us through Christ to not strive to be number 1. That is a big relief on one hand, because I am usually not numero uno of anything. I am not “the steller at______ guy.” I am the “middle of the pack guy.” On the other hand, it is disturbing. I have this great ambition to do great things. I want to be number one. I want to be the guy that everyone looks up to. I want to be the one whom people put on the pedastal and say “be like him.” But over and over again in the gospels Jesus is telling us not to try to be that. I don’t think that this ambition is always evil. Most of my ambitions are God kind of stuff. I know that Jesus doesn’t decry excellence. When you get right down to it, Jesus is not telling us we can’t be number one, or even that it isn’t good to try to be the best. It is how we use that status that counts. But at the same time, he knows that it seldom plays itself out that way. Number one usually becomes an idol. We love to make idols. That has got to be part of why Jesus said the whole rich man/camel through the needle comment. We are rich. I am rich. God is working this out in me.