Who is the G.O.A.T.?

Challenge Central: a CBC devotional

By: John Kerr

Have you ever entered into the debate about who is the greatest of all time (or the G.O.A.T.)? Is Tom Brady the greatest NFL quarterback of all time? Was Wayne Gretzky the greatest hockey player of all time? How about Pele? Was he the greatest footballer of all time? The debates are an annual occurrence, with people getting very exercised about the issue!

This issue followed Jesus. Remember when Jesus asked Peter, “Who do men say that I am?” I am sure by then Peter would like to have said, “You are the G.O.A.T!” But, of course, he answered, “You are the Christ” (Mark 8:29). From the outset of His ministry, Jesus had been assaulted regularly by those who had a high opinion of themselves. Time and time again, he faced the Pharisees and the scribes and went toe to toe with them. They weren’t prepared to acknowledge Him as Messiah and, therefore, the Greatest.

We are obsessed with greatness. With the internet so readily available, there are articles published ad nauseam touting an individual’s greatness. It is not limited to sports, although the egos of modern athletes accentuate the problem. There is a story circulating about a soccer player who has eschewed the trappings of luxury that his skill has earned him and donates much of his wealth to the poor and needy.

The disciples recognized that there was something special about Jesus, and as a result, they wanted to share in His greatness. It came to a head one day when they argued amongst themselves as to who was the greatest. Jesus told them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all” (Mark 9:35).

I like what Wayne Gretzky said when questioned about the possibility of his scoring records being broken: “I want to be the first to shake his hand.”

So, when the question of who the G.O.A.T. is comes up, remember that in the spiritual arena, the greatest is the one who learns to serve.

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