The Greatest Among You
Jesus says in Matthew 20:26 (NKJV), “Whoever desires to become great among you let him be your servant.” If you’ve been in and around church for any length of time you have probably heard the name D. L. Moody. On the other hand, you probably have not heard the name of a humble servant named Edward Kimball.
Edward was an ordinary Christian who sold shoes for a living. One day, a young man named Dwight joined the staff at the shoe store. Edward was very nervous but mustered up enough courage to share Jesus with his new associate. Dwight gave his life to Christ that day and became one of the greatest Evangelists in church history, known as D. L. Moody.
In 2 Kings chapter 5 there is the amazing story of the healing and conversion of Naaman, Commander of the Syrian Army. 2 Kings 5:1-3 (NKJV) says, Now Naaman, commander of the army of the King of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper. And the Syrians had gone out on raids, and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife. Then she said to her mistress, “If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.”
So Naaman heads off to Israel and ends up at the prophet Elisha’s house, where through a messenger, he tells Naaman to go wash seven times in the Jordan and he would be healed of his leprosy. Naaman gets mad because that’s not what he thought would or should happen, but then his servants speak up. Verses 13-15 (NKJV) say, And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it?” How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” So, he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
And he returned to the man of God, he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, “Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel; now therefore, please take a gift from your servant.”
Notice the servant girl’s name is not mentioned nor are Naaman’s servants. Yet, God worked through these servants and the prophet Elisha to heal a man of leprosy leading him to believe in the God of Israel. So, whether you are a shoe salesman or a waitress, a stay at home mom or a retired teacher, the Lord considers great those who have the humble attitude of a servant.
By the way, the story that started with Edward Kimball did not end with the salvation of D. L. Moody. You see, D. L. Moody reached FB Meyer, who reached Wilbur Chapman, who touched Billy Sunday, who touched those who brought Mordecai Ham to setup his gospel tent in Charlotte N.C. to preach a revival. On one of the final nights of the revival, a tall lanky kid came forward and gave his life to Christ; you may recognize his name – Billy Graham!
Lord Jesus, you did not come to be served but to serve and to give your life as a ransom for many. Help us to have your humble servant attitude. We pray this in your name Jesus, Amen.
The Greatest Among You