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 before the Lord. Luke 1:14-15
“The measure of greatness which is common among men is utterly false and deceptive. Princes and potentates, conquerors and leaders of armies, statesmen and philosophers, artists and authors, – these are the kind of men whom the world calls “great.” Such greatness is not recognized among the angels of God. Those who do great things for God, they reckon little. They measure and value every man according to the position in which he is likely to stand at the last day.
Let us not be ashamed to make the angels of God our example in this matter. Let us seek for ourselves and our children that true greatness which will be owned and recognized in another world. It is a greatness which is within the reach of all – of the poor as well as the rich, – of the servant as well as of the master. It does not depend on power or patronage, on money or on friends. It is the free gift of God to all who see it at the Lord Jesus Christ’s hands. It is the portion of all who hear Christ’s voice and follow Him, – who fight Christ’s battle and do Christ’s work in the world. Such may receive little honor in this life. But great shall be their reward at the last day.”
JC Ryle, “Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, Volume 2″, (Michigan: Baker Book House, 2007) 14.