Then a dispute also arose among them about who should be considered the greatest. But he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who have authority over them have themselves called ‘Benefactors.’ It is not to be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever is greatest among you should become like the youngest, and whoever leads, like the one serving. For who is greater, the one at the table or the one serving? Isn’t it the one at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves. Luke 22:24-27
The text described the event that took place when Jesus gathered His disciples in the upper room before His arrest. The disciples looked for sits of prominence while Jesus took the occasion to serve them. Then, He did something that the disciples were not expecting; He took a towel and basin and washed their feet (see John 13:1-15). Then a debate ensued “among them about who should be considered the greatest.” The example that Jesus had shown to His disciples provided an image as to how greatness is measured in the sight of God and His kingdom. It differs vastly from the world’s standard. People are measured and idolized by their looks, wealth, fame, power, and strength. But in God’s eyes, greatness is demonstrated by serving others. The world will even look down and brand serving others as demeaning. Yet, when service is done wholeheartedly, selflessly, lovingly, and without expecting anything in return is highly regarded in God’s kingdom. It is interesting that probably most of us Christians would refer to ourselves as servants, yet we are not contented and satisfied when treated as one. Jesus modeled to us that in His kingdom, followers are not seeking greatness and recognition but are just looking for opportunities to do good and serve others in the family of God. This is why when asked of Christ’s purpose in coming He said, “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). Let us follow Christ’s example by allowing Him to remove selfishness from our heart and exchange it with compassion and love. Let us anticipate and welcome the opportunity that God will use us to serve others for they will come.
Noel De Guzman