What is Greatness?

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” –Micah 5:2 (NIV)

Why Bethlehem? What was so important about this little Judean town? On its own it could not boast of any inherent prestige. It was certainly not the political, economic, and religious centre which Jerusalem was. On the contrary, it was an unassuming town of shepherds and had little, if any, weight in the affairs of the wider Jewish nation. Its greatness however, is not derived from any achievement of its own, but solely from the good purposes God has for its history.  It was from Bethlehem that God chose David, that very ordinary shepherd boy, to be the finest earthly king Israel has produced.  Now it is remembered as the birthplace of Christ, the King of kings and the Saviour of the World. Bethlehem is exalted today because it was God Himself who declared and made it great.

Often in our insecurities we may see ourselves as unimportant and insignificant. When we see those around us who have everything man could wish for in possession and ability, we may feel dwarfed by such people. This leaves us wondering about our purpose in life, and if we can truly match the greatness of others. However, God has a wonderful plan for each and every one of us. His measure of success is not defined by what we can do to be prosperous in this world, but what He can do for us if we take hold of Christ. When we make that choice to grasp His hand and trust in His perfect wisdom, He will take us on a journey that will leave us breathless in the face of His goodness and faithfulness. If we see ourselves as less than great by the standards of the material world, then we have inadvertently placed as the highest good the pursuit of treasure which will not last. But when we see our treasure as being found in the perfect will of Christ, we will stand firm in the knowledge that through Him we have significance and worth.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.