From our perspective 2,000 years later, we may be very critical of the disciples “disputing among themselves as to which of them was to be the greatest” (Luke 22:24). We may not do the same thing verbally, but in our hearts, we often compare ourselves with others and silently think we are better. Sadly, I confess that those have been my thoughts at times.
Jesus knew what was going on between His disciples, and wanted to make sure they did not leave the Passover with those feelings. After pointing to what kings do, He said, “But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves” (Luke 22:26–27). He, the Passover Lamb was about to give His life – the ultimate act of a servant.
Jesus puts Himself forward as the model. This is repeated in Matthew 20:28; “even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
It’s the lowliest place; even foot washing according to John 13:1-17. Paul confirms that we must have this kind of thinking in Philippians 2:5-8. This attitude is not optional for any follower of Jesus, much less those in leadership. Yet, we often think just the opposite. When greatness occupies our thinking, we become ineffective in our work for the Lord because we are more concerned about what people think of us rather than their growth in attachment with Jesus.
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