When Jesus confronts His friends about their argument regarding which one of them was ‘the greatest’ (Mark 9), He is forcing them to see that their underlying ambitions are all about compensating for their deep sense of inadequacy. As the prophet Samuel said to King Saul, “You are little in your own eyes” (1 Samuel 15:17), similarly the apostles were chronically attempting to overcome their insecurities through arguing and posturing. A perfect example of this is found in Mark 14:3-9. Jesus is in the town of Bethany, having dinner at the house of His friend Simon the leper. All of sudden, a woman shows up at Simon’s house and pours an entire flask of expensive aromatic ointment on Jesus. The apostles are indignant, and they immediately start pointing out the demerits of this reckless and wasteful act. The apostles posture themselves as sage, responsible, and discerning men of decorum, and they self-righteously decry this woman’s profligate deed. But Jesus’ response reveals that the apostles underlying ambition is to compensate for their inferiority complex, and they are frantically attempting to produce for themselves a sense of worth. The audacious woman on the other hand is heartily commended by Jesus, and it’s clear that her underlying ambition is to receive her identity and worth from Jesus, as opposed to manufacturing them for herself. Jesus says that this brazen woman is in the right! Jesus points out that she has wisely agreed with what Jesus has been saying about His crucifixion (unlike the obstinate apostles [see Mark 8:31-33]), and she has anointed Him to proceed with the plan to earn our identity and worth for us. Simply put, the apostles are modeling the prophecy of Jeremiah 2:13, while the woman is clinging to the promise(s) of 2 Corinthians 5:21; 8:9; and John 3:30; 6:29; 15:5; Philippians 3:9; etc. Bottom line, your underlying ambition will either be to (a) attempt to produce your own identity and sense of worth, or (b) to inherit your identity and worth from Jesus of Nazareth.