Want to be the Greatest? Matthew 18:1-4, Mark 9:33-37, Luke 9:46-48 Youth Bible Study Lesson

Use this free Youth Group lesson in your Teenage Sunday School or Youth Ministry meeting time. It’s perfect for Middle School Students or any High School Bible Study group.

Lesson Resources:

  • Bibles or cell phones to read scripture
  • Pen or pencil (some can also take notes on their cell)
  • Paper or note card to record their thoughts when asked how they could change

Scripture Passage:

Read one or all Matthew 18:1-4, Mark 9:33-37, Luke 9:46-48

Note:  It’s always good for one of the youth to read the scripture.  It helps bring it into their world.  The word spoken by one of their peers.

Jesus defines greatness differently than the world often does.  By pursuing humility and hopefully being humble.  Like a child.

A child in Jesus time was without status and rights, dependent on the good will of others.

Jesus wants us to be dependent on who?

Jesus sees beyond human limiting thinking and our self centered desires and pride.  Jesus knows the source of true joy, peace and love.

What does God want?  A deep acknowledgement that all our blessings come from God.  And from Jesus

What do we want?

We often want to be the most liked, the best person on the athletic team, have the highest GPA, be the best singer in the choir.  How do you want to be the greatest? 

Anyone willing to share?

The big question is why?  Take a minute and be honest with yourself.

Some possible answers….

  • To be liked
  • People to idolize you
  • Power to influence others
  • Attention
  • Win awards

How do we act?

Do you ever compare yourself to others about who is the greatest?

Do you ever make these statements to yourself and/or others?

  • I’m a better person than (?)
  • I make better grades than (?)
  • I’m better at sports than (?)
  • My social media posts are better than (?)

When you want to be the greatest and you are not, what kind of emotions do you feel?

Some possible answers…..

  • Jealousy
  • Envy
  • I’m not good enough
  • Hurt that I’m not picked first!
  • Mean

The Danger: Discussion Point for Youth Groups

Desiring to be the greatest is dangerous because it diverts your focus away from a Jesus directed life.  It gives birth to sinful thoughts and actions.

The risk in trying to be the greatest is that you move away from having a humble mind & heart that is focused on the Way of Jesus.  Just like the disciples did in the Scripture.  Jesus knew their hearts and redirected them to focus on what really matters to God.

Everyday do you look at who is ahead of you rather than at who is less than you?

How do you look at those that are less than you?

Anyone willing to share?

What does the world often call them?  Losers?

Is that a term Jesus would ever use?

An Action Plan: Apply This Bible Truth

Let’s take a minute and talk about your growth going forward.  Just like the disciples had to listen to Jesus and readjust their thoughts, do you need to do the same?

What about being good at something verses being obsessed at being the greatest

Is it ok to use our God given gifts?  To strive to be the best you can be?

What do you think?

When you are good at something do you mentor others?  Those that aren’t as good as you.  Do you encourage them?

How can you mentor, encourage, and be welcoming to those around you?

Anyone willing to share?

Take a minute and write down how you think you need to change.  Be specific.  What can you do?

If you focus on Jesus description of greatness first and worldly things second, the proper order is established and your life is aligned with the way.  You see the people around you and what they need.  You give your time to your peers around you.  You have an awareness, a child like awareness of your status in life.  Humility and servanthood are signs of greatness to Jesus.  You care and in caring you find peace and joy in Kingdom living.

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