Defining Words

Defining Words

“Whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant.” (Mark 10:43)


The word “great” is an exceedingly common word in the New Testament. It is the Greek word megas, from which we have the prefix “mega-” in English today. So like, MegaMart and megachurch and megalomaniac.


Basically, it meant the same thing when Jesus said it as it does today. Unusually large, or numerous, or intense. Or, unusually powerful.

The word “servant” is similarly common. It is the Greek word diakonos, from which we have the word “deacon” in English today. So, like Phil Estes and Winter Hamilton, among others.

Basically, it means someone who executes the instructions or commands of another person. A servant is someone called to meet the needs of others. Moreover, it means the same thing today as it meant when Jesus said it way back when.

All that is to say, this verse should befuddle us today just as surely as it must have when Jesus first uttered it. The world’s definition of “great” has not changed in 2,000 years. And, neither has Jesus’ command to serve one another. 

As befuddling as it may be, Jesus says it plainly: to become great is to serve. Still today. Just like it was when Jesus said it way back when. What does a “Doer of the Word” do? A doer of the word is one who serves.