Day 6 :: Simply the best
“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.”
All of us strive to be the best at what we do, this may be in our jobs, at home, or with hobbies. I know for me this is true. With my job working for funeral directors, I can only aim for the best, knowing it has a long-lasting impact on the families I help.
In Luke 22:24-30 Jesus and his disciples were doing something normal, eating and drinking the Passover meal together. However, this time it seems a little different because there’s a squabble among the disciples.
‘Who is the greatest?’
They are asking a bit of a stupid question seeing as they are sitting beside Jesus, the son of God. What I find amazing here is that this event shows us the disciples are nothing special. They are ordinary working men that happen to be following the greatest man there ever was and is.
Let’s look at the response that Jesus gives them. He doesn’t praise himself for being the greatest but instead teaches them another valuable lesson. What does he say to them? That they should not be called ‘benefactors’ - leaders who rule others for their own benefit.
Jesus then goes on to say that you should be like the youngest. Now let’s have a little look at culture here. The youngest person would normally be the outcast of this time period, or they would be the “slave” if you like. Why would Jesus say something that could have seemed pretty demoralising for them? It’s the principle of what the youngest would have done at this point, serving people, working for people.
“Who is greater, the one at the table or the one serving? But I am among you as one who serves.”
The greatest person isn’t the person that’s sitting at the table being served. The person greatest is the one that is serving the table.
In Matthew 20:28 Jesus tells us himself:
“…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
“‘King of kings’ is a title full of majesty but ‘Servant of servants’ is the name which our lord preferred when he was here below”
We're called to follow the greatest form of greatness and do the great things that he does. So, let’s do that, let’s serve the way Jesus did and give our lives for others.
On our own, we can never be truly great, and this is the result of our sinful nature. Only Jesus is great, so instead of us trying to be the greatest version of ourselves what we can do is this: boast in the greatness of Jesus, boast in the amazing things he has done for us and for the people of the world, boast that he is the best. Though Jesus truly was the greatest, he gave his life on the cross so that sinners like you and me might live.
How can I serve my church this week?
Who can I tell about Jesus’ greatness?
What practical steps should I take to do these things?
Passages to read: Luke 22:24-30
A thought to remember: Jesus came not to be served but to serve.
A question to ask: How can you serve Jesus and his people this week?
A song to sing: The Servant King