Topical Index of Scriptures
What God calls "great"
God warns us not to presume to know Him and His ways according to our human inclinations:
"You thought that I was altogether like you; But I will rebuke you...." Psalm 50:21
Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:42-45
"Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:19-20
"...I [Paul]... did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God." 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Status and popularity in the world is not greatness to God
"Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you,
And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.
Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!
For indeed your reward is great in heaven,
For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.
But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
Woe to you who are full, for you shall hunger.
Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.
Woe to you when all men speak well of you,
For so did their fathers to the false prophets." Luke 6:22-16
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Matthew 5:11-12
“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:10-14
“And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it...." Luke 14:27-28
“At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, 'Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, cunless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:1-4
"Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, ‘Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?'
“So Jesus said to him, 'Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’
“And he answered and said to Him, ‘Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.’
“Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.’
“But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
“Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, ‘How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!’ ... And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, ‘Who then can be saved?’
“But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.’ ” Mark 10:17-27
John the Baptist's testimony
...the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink.” Luke 1:13-15
John said, "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry." Matthew 3:11
"He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease." John 3:29-30
What is foolish to man shows God's greatness to those who believe
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are saved it is the power of God. For it is written:
'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.'
"Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18-24
Note: The foolishness of that message is now often hidden behind lofty promises of God's unconditional and universal love without a mention of His wrath and judgment on a world that has reinvented God.
"Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39
Note: This great command should humble us, for who of us can possibly understand or meet that standard? Such a standard is never included in the new church and corporate assessments of success.
"His disciples came and urged Him, saying, 'Send her away, for she cries out after us.'
But He answered and said, 'I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.'
Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, 'Lord, help me!'
But He answered and said, 'It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.'
And she said, 'Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.'
Then Jesus answered and said to her, O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.' And her daughter was healed from that very hour." Matthew 15:23-28
"....their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God." 2 Corinthians 8:2-5
"But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful." Luke 6:35-36
Great Signs from False Prophets
“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.
“Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it." Matthew 24:23-25
"The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness." 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
“But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24
"But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death...." Philippians 3:7-10