But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
It was a world where money ruled the day and each one sought his gain, and power and authority was coveted by many. They sought place and position, to be above others, to rule and to reign and to be in control, to achieve that high place where someone would serve them—not much different from our world today. But Jesus’ way is so different. It is not about authority, but submission. It is not about ruling over others, but serving them. It is not about acquiring many riches, but being rich toward God, giving, loving, obeying.
And the disciples eventually took this to heart. Once they saw what Jesus did in dying for them, once the church got started and they were filled with the Spirit, they no longer desired greatness for themselves, but they became true servants of their Master. They served their Lord, His church, and their brethren. They humbled themselves. They got to a place where they understood that following Jesus wasn’t about them and what they would gain. It wasn’t about rising up to this high position and achieving something to be glorified themselves. It was about trading all of that to glorify Jesus.
If even Jesus would serve, then so should we. If serving was not beneath Jesus, it shouldn’t be beneath us, either. We don’t have to worry about greatness and power and position, because true greatness in God’s eyes is being like His Son. We are willing at times to settle for less, but Jesus sets a high standard to follow. He was willing to give the ultimate, to be the ransom and pay the high cost. And because we are servants, we minister. We give of our time and energy. We seek to benefit others. We undertake the work no matter what it requires of us.
Let us not strive for a place where we are served, but continually give ourselves in service to our humble Lord. May we break out of worldly mindsets that would pull us toward these desires for riches and power and authority and instead strive for God’s glory. May we be humble, true servants of our Lord, following His example. His life touched the whole world, because He died for everyone. So may we dedicate our lives to reaching as many people as we can in whatever ways He would have us to serve.