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When the Kingdom Comes »

Who is the Greatest?

Unless you’ve spent the past 15 years holed up under a rock, you probably know at least a little bit about Michael Phelps. You might know that he’s won 22 Olympic medals — 18 of which are gold — and he’s said to be perfectly physically suited for competitive swimming. Even freakishly so. You might have heard that Phelps came out of retirement last year at the ripe old age of 29 and announced that he intends to qualify for his fifth Olympic games, to be held in Rio next summer.

Even if you’ve never seen a swim meet, you’ve probably seen him in an ad plugging sandwiches for Subway.

The media have made much of his physiology: a 6’7” arm span, double-jointed ankles, size-14 flipper-feet and canoe-paddle hands. Clearly, he’s got everything it takes to succeed at his sport. But there would be no world championships, no gold medals, no rubbing elbows with Jared at Subway if Phelps wasn’t willing to eat right or get enough sleep or work out and spend six hours training in the pool every single day.

He knows what it takes to be great in the pool. He knows what it means to be an Olympic champion.

In our scripture this week, Jesus tells us we have everything we need to be great in the Kingdom. But is that enough? Or is there a response required on our part? And what does it even mean to be “great in the Kingdom”? This is a question we will be asking over the coming weeks.  Let’s dig in and find out.


Grace and peace, y'all,


J. Ray

key text: Matthew 20:20-28, Mark 10:35-45 (NET)