Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Tuesday, March 7 - Greatest Of All Time

“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” — John 13:14

>> Sign up here for Sports Spectrum devotionals sent right to your email inbox <<

Greatness. It’s something many strive for, and for many athletes, it not only got them involved in sports, but it drives them to prepare, train and compete at a level that will achieve greatness. However, the pursuit doesn’t stop at “greatness” anymore. Athletes want to go beyond greatness and become the G.O.A.T. — Greatest of All Time.

Over the past decade, the term “GOAT” has become a mainstream obsession and talking point. People argue over and over about who is the GOAT. Is it Tom Brady or Peyton Manning? Is it LeBron James or Michael Jordan? (That answer is always MJ.) Can we just stop all conversation and agree that Serena Williams is and always will be the GOAT?

This pursuit of greatness or GOAT status is nothing new to mankind. Those who walked with Jesus also had an obsession with greatness. But the problem isn’t whether we pursue greatness; the problem is how we define greatness, because greatness in the Kingdom of God is not defined the way it is in the kingdom of mankind.

There is an instance in the Gospel of Mark that captures a conversation between two disciples of Jesus when they were able to get Him alone, away from the other 10. The brothers (James and John) tried to persuade Jesus into elevating them to GOAT status in glory, and give them a position and platform that would make them great. They asked Jesus if they could sit on either side of Him as He reigned in His eternal Kingdom (Mark 10:35-45).

Their mistake wasn’t the request itself; their transgression was that they misunderstood what made someone great. They thought greatness was all about position. What they didn’t realize is that greatness in God’s Kingdom isn’t about a position you are elevated to, but a posture you live with.

Jesus Himself exemplified what greatness is all about the night He was betrayed at dinner with His closest friends. Jesus famously got on His knees and did the unexpected. The master became the servant by washing the feet of the disciples, and in doing this, Jesus displayed what greatness looked like. Scripture tells us:

“The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” — John 13:2-5

He was able to take off His rabbinic robe and take on the garment of a slave (towel), and, in turn, show all of us what greatness looks like. Greatness isn’t about what you achieve, it’s displayed by how you serve others. You see, greatness in the world is measured by who (or how many) serves you, but greatness in the Kingdom of God is measured by who (or how many) you serve.

Who can you serve this week? Whose feet can you metaphorically wash? What kind of legacy will you leave within your team or community? These are the things that lead to a path of spiritual greatness.

— Reza Zadeh, Denver Broncos chaplain

If you would like to submit a devotional, please email all submissions to

Click here for all Sports Spectrum Daily Devotionals

>> Subscribe to Sports Spectrum Magazine for more devotionals and stories where sports and faith connect <<

>> Purchase “The Increase 52 Week Devotional” to further grow your relationship with Christ <<