If you want to get into a lively debate with anyone, just ask them a variation of this question:
Which _________ was the greatest of all time? Which basketball player, singer, actor, writer, and especially rapper.
Let’s take a moment to ask the rappers themselves…
Jay-Z (Who refers to himself as J-Hova, as in Jehovah):
I drop that Black Album then I back out it/As the best rapper alive, ***** ask about me.
Nas (Who refers to himself as God’s Son)
My first album had no famous guest appearances/The outcome: I’m crowned the best lyricist
Kanye (Who refers to himself as Yeezus)
I am a god /So hurry up with my **** massage /In a French-— restaurant/Hurry up with my **** croissants /I am a god /I am a god/I am a god
Lil Wayne (Who is clinically insane)
The best rapper alive/The best rapper alive /The best rapper alive/The best rapper alive /Swagger right, check, game tight /And they gon’ R-E-S-P-E-C-T me.
It’s a silly debate because we all know it’s Biggie. Aside from that, my point is that each of these individuals want the world to believe that there is no one greater and that no one could do greater things than them.
Ironically, 3 out of the 4 of these rappers refer to themselves as some variation of Jesus but Jesus’s message looked nothing like any of theirs. We see even the disciples pulling this same sort of stunt in the book of Luke:
 An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest.  Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him.  Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all — he is the greatest.”
I am currently imagining the disciples rap battling one another as to who was the greatest.
Matthew battling Peter:
Peter don’t try to be hatin, at least Jesus never said to me, “Get behind me Satan! (Drops mic or whatever amplifying device they had back then)
Anyway, my point here is this. I’ve seen so many leaders want to make sure they are seen as being one step ahead of others, that the people they influence are in awe of their intellect and abilities instead of inspired to go and use theirs. I think as leaders we need to be very careful that our message to the people who we have influence with isn’t, “Watch how great I am.” but “You can do greater things.”
Jesus says a statement which is almost seems laughable to me in John 14:12:
“What I’m about to tell you is true. Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. In fact, he will do even greater things. That is because I am going to the Father.”
There is some debate as to what exactly Jesus was referring to by “greater things” but I think the general point is this. Jesus as a leader wanted his followers to not just be in awe of him but inspired to do even greater things! Jesus wasn’t looking to downplay the skills and contributions of the people that he led but actually magnify and inspire them to greatness themselves.
So instead of taking our cues from culture, or even the disciples that looked to establish themselves as the greatest, let’s look to the example of Jesus to see how we can inspire the people around us to do even greater things than us!
Jason’s curiosity brought him from Pittsburgh to Lakeland in 2003 to attend Southeastern University (B.A Marketing, M.A. Ministerial Leadership). Since then, Lakeland has truly become home to he and his wife Hillary. Jason’s career has taken him from corporate America to currently serving as the Spiritual Formation pastor at Oasis Community Church. He is also an adjunct professor at his alma mater, an aspiring entrepreneur with he and Hillary’s project “Pickle Vintage” and inconsistent writer. Jason feels compelled to help people design lives and environments that promote flourishing. You can find him on Instagram @thedemeos, @picklevintage and @free60daily.