Almost every human on this planet wants to be great or do something great. We mostly attach greatness to someone for doing something extraordinary in a positive sense.
The likes of Michael Jordan, Lebron James etc are often referred to as “The Greatest Of All Time” (G.O.A.T) in NBA as a result of their display of exceptional brilliance in the game of basketball. Usually, when these icons narrate their success stories, they talk about how they were rejected, unfairly treated, or even denigrated in their formative years. They also talk about how some few people in the midst of their dejection recognized greatness in them and helped them to be who they are now.
Les Brown always ends his motivational messages with “You have something special. You have GREATNESS within you”. This brings us to another interesting thing about greatness which is; it’s internal and not external. Another underlying fact about greatness is, it attracts respect and adulation from people. Those who are able to recognize and cherish it in its gestation period also reap great rewards from the possessor of greatness in its manifestation stage.
This simply means, those (Usually majority) who treated the great people we know with disdain initially couldn’t see it and those who did the opposite could.
This is an enigma because, how can something which hasn’t manifested yet or can’t be seen, is seen by some and blind to others? Could this be magic? After pondering over this, I came to the conclusion that “It’s the mystery of this earthly life”. One thing that bothers us as humans is, we get hurt when people don’t recognize or appreciate our potential.
Jesus, the greatest man to ever live on this earth suffered this fate but unlike us, he wasn’t bothered. We all know He laid down his life for the salvation of humanity but how did people relate to him before he became who we all know him to be?
His birth was foretold before he was born and Isaiah puts it this way “For a child is born to us, a son given to us. And the government will rest on His shoulders. These will be His royal titles; Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” etc.
Ironically, there wasn’t a decent place to accommodate the birth of this Prince of Peace other than a manger in a strangers house. It gets interesting when it had to take three wise men from the east by virtue of an angelic visitation to validate Jesus’s royalty from birth by bringing him gifts befitting a royal in the form of Gold, Frankincense, and myrrh.
Fast forward to the day He was baptized. He was in a queue just like anyone else waiting to be baptized but when John the Baptist saw Him, he knew who Jesus was and what he represents so he told Jesus he (John the Baptist) should rather be baptized by Him and not vice versa.
When he was being baptized, something phenomenal happened. The Heavens opened and a voice came from Heaven saying “This is my Son, whom I love; with him, I am well pleased”. In this scenario, the Bible didn’t say others present also saw the heavens open or heard the voice from above.
It came to a time Jesus had to test his own disciples to see whether they knew who he really was and when he asked, it was Peter who proved he knew who He was.
The Bible in Luke 7:36 talks about a sinful woman who brought an alabaster jar of perfume, washed Jesus feet with her tears, dried them with hair her, kissed his feet and rubbed them with the perfume. What marveled me about this verse is that, Jesus came to the house where this happened upon a man’s invitation but the strange woman ended up being hospitable to Jesus than the host.
These nuggets of the life of Jesus accentuates the fact that, even though greatness cannot be seen unless manifested, it takes something extraordinary to recognize it in its hidden stage. Humans as we are, we have emotions and we sometimes allow how others treat us to define who we are.
I’ve come to understand that, it’s not everybody that’s privy to recognize greatness in its gestation period. Here is a savior whose birth was foretold several years before he was born but on his arrival, it was a manger that accommodated him. The Bible didn’t say the owner of the house even checked up on Mary and Joseph to see how their baby who is an embodiment of royalty and greatness was faring. After all, it is common sense for a house owner to check up on a stranger he/she accommodated the previous night especially when it has to do with labor and childbirth.
We usually look up to some influential people for validation and they end up dampening our hopes. Even though Jesus was the son of the King of Kings, he was validated by ordinary men and not the king of the town he was born in. These ordinary men brought him gifts of royalty that any king would offer.
A man invites Jesus to his house and a strange sinful woman whom I believe was poor ended up giving Jesus an expensive hospitality in the presence of the host. While the host just saw Jesus as a visitor, this woman saw Jesus beyond that. She treated Jesus as a King. I believe without what the woman did, Jesus’s visit to this man wouldn’t have been recorded in the Bible. This shows sometimes in life, we won’t be treated for who we are by familiar people. Our worth wouldn’t be valued by people around us.
This story also proves that, the seed of greatness can only be seen by a few people. Here is Jesus who looks ordinary like anyone else being baptized and the heavens opened, a dove came down and a voice from above spoke. It was only John the Baptist and Jesus who saw this happen. Peter was the only one among Jesus disciples who saw Him as the Messiah.
Finally, the people who fail to see our worth have nothing to offer us. When you look at the scenarios above, you’d realize almost everybody who recognized the worth of Jesus added something to his life. The three wise men brought Gold, Frankincense, and myrrh, John the Baptist baptized Jesus, Peter ended up being the rock Jesus built his church on, and the woman had an expensive perfume to give Jesus the best hospitality.
In case people around you fail to see greatness in you, don’t be despaired. Believe in yourself and remember that “ordinary” people aren’t meant to recognize greatness. Value yourself and at the right time, special people will come your way and pay the prize for what you’re worth. Let’s all try to treat each other with dignity because you never know; the greatest thing to happen to this world might be the person sitting, or standing by you. The seed of greatness doesn’t come with a blaring siren or a welcome address. It is subtle. Let’s be careful how we relate to people.