If the size of a man’s home has anything to do with how great he is, one would think George Vanderbilt was a great man. He certainly lived in a great big house.
The home was modeled after three French chateaux from the 16th century. It features 4 acres of floor space, 250 rooms, 34 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces. I was impressed with the advanced technological features in the home, including running water, indoor bathrooms, an indoor pool and a fitness facility. George's library was to die for. I could have sat there for hours thumbing through his fine collection of leather-bound books, a sign of his great wealth. After six years of construction, George Vanderbilt had built a country retreat where he could pursue his passions for art, horticulture, and literature. He officially opened up his home to family and friends on Christmas Eve in 1895.
I’m sure George Vanderbilt was a good man, but Jesus was truly great. Of Jesus, the angel Gabriel announced to Mary, “He will be great” (Luke 1:32).
Fill up a room with all the people in the world plus those in history that you deem great, and Jesus outshines them all. He is greater than the greatest artists or musicians. He is greater than the greatest scientists, mathematicians or military strategists. He is greater than the greatest Presidents, Prime Ministers and Popes. He is greater than any other religious figure including Gandhi, Moses or Muhammad.
The three-time World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Muhammad Ali, declared himself to be "The Greatest," but Jesus was greater than Ali. Herod was known as Herod the Great and built for himself a great palace called the Herodian, but Jesus was greater than Herod. Words fail to express the greatness of Jesus, who is even greater than the angels of heaven (Heb. 1). There is no greater name or person in heaven or on earth.
And for the record books, Jesus has a bigger house than George Vanderbilt. It's a great, great big house. He told us, “In My Father’s house are many mansions” (John 14:2). I wonder if Mr. Vanderbilt ever thought about that as he built his great mansion in the Blue Ridge Mountains.