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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney


If we fail to listen carefully to Jesus, 2021 may have all sorts of successes, whilst missing what is truly great. Jesus redefines a true vision of greatness as,

“The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:11-12)

These words are set in the context of the whole chapter where Jesus outlines the ways that the religious teachers of His day, and all of us, can wrongly seek success. The false road to greatness can be summarised by the words of verse 5,

“Everything they do is done for people to see…” (Matthew 23:5)

If you were honest with yourself, are you more aware of serving people or God?

How would your life be different if you lived with your Father, rather than others, as your audience?

Do we really understand that our lives are being wasted if we are living or serving to be seen by people?! Take a moment to pray for your 2021 out of Psalm 19.

‘May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.’ (Psalm 19:14)



It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

Suggested opener/Ice-breaker

Who do you consider to be a great person and why? (Jesus is always the answer but try to think of someone else).

Introduction - please share in your group

This week we took a break from our discipleship series and considered how we might complete the phrase ‘2021 would be great if…’

Too often we can discount what we do as unimportant. The celebrity culture in which we live can cause us to conclude that true greatness is something that is beyond the reach of ordinary people. Too many of us are waiting for our ‘moment to shine’, that opportunity, that point of destiny… when, finally, we will be lifted out of the shadows and take our place of greatness.

Jesus doesn’t want you to waste this year. Jesus makes true greatness available to everyone, and it’s available today. Jesus defines true greatness thus,

“The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:11-12)

Discussion questions

1. What were your initial responses to the question, ‘2021 will be great if….’ ?

2. How do you really define greatness? (try to be honest about this).

3. How does Jesus define greatness?

4. How are you tempted to ‘exalt’ yourself?

5. What does it mean to humble ourselves?

6. What is meant by Jesus promise to those who serve in humility?

7. As a group, think of the different contexts (work, home…) that God has put you in on a weekly basis; think of 2 practical ways that you could apply today’s text into each of those relationships

Investing and inviting

i) Who has God put into your life that we could pray for together?

ii) How are you planning to 'invest and invite'?

iii) Finally, Who are you planning to invite to our Alpha Course which is beginning on the 25th January?

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