As sports fans, one of our favorite things to do is debate who and what is the greatest. We routinely argue the best games, coaches, and players…and this time of year, attempt to answer the question, “Who is the NBA’s greatest of all time (G.O.A.T.)? 

Most would say Michael Jordan has been the G.O.A.T. for many years, but some old school fans have claimed Kareem, Magic, and Russell. Kobe Bryant has also pushed his way into the conversation, but he has never passed Jordan. 

Presently, Lebron James is moving up in the NBA record books to prove his worth as the G.O.A.T. During the playoffs, fans, media, and former players are actively making their case for what LeBron needs to accomplish to be seriously considered better than Jordan.

Some people will never give LeBron the nod. But because LeBron is gaining the edge in enough statistical categories, many fans are becoming more open to the possibility that he could be the G.O.A.T. 

This intriguing question of who is the greatest has been around since Jesus walked the earth. While involved in His amazing work, the twelve disciples were recorded as saying in Matthew 18:1 (NLT):“About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?’”

There is something inherent that causes us all to wonder who is the greatest, and even the disciples had their reasons for placing value on this question. They were most likely concerned about where they stood in line with one another…and probably wanted to know how they compared to each other in the eyes of Jesus. 

Although they obviously had their reasons, Jesus quickly squashed their motivations in Matthew 18:2-4: “Jesus called a little child to Him and put the child among them. Then He said, ‘I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.'” 

His lesson on humility being the key characteristic in God’s kingdom, is one that we can learn from today. Instead of getting caught up in our accomplishments, power, and abilities, Jesus wants us to be like children who are dependent, free, teachable, and lowly.

To truly become great, we must realize our weaknesses and brokenness. Our desires must become more about serving and obeying – not driven by the world’s standard of greatness.

As we have fun debating the NBA’s G.O.A.T., let’s also consider Jesus’ description of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let’s pursue a childlike faith and humility, while being devoted and dependent on our loving Heavenly Father.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I pray I would be great in Your eyes, and focus on humbly submitting to my need for You. Help me not to worry as much about worldly greatness. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.