"But it should not be that way with you. If one of you wants to become great, then he must serve you like a servant. If one of you wants to become first, then he must serve you like a slave."
— Matthew 20:26-27
Jesus' Kingdom operates by a different set of standards. Greatness is not found in position. Greatness is not found in the exercise of power. Greatness is not found in being served. Greatness is not found in commanding others. Greatness is not found in wealth. Greatness is not found in intellect.
In Jesus' Kingdom, greatness is found in serving. If you are going to become greatest among Jesus' followers, you are going to serve your family Kingdom members. It's that simple. But in case we forget, Jesus gave us the cross to remind us that the path of obedience, the path to greatness, the path of glory is found in serving others while we serve God.
Holy and powerful God, you humbled yourself to save me. How can I understand that, much less thank you for it? But I know you want me to show that same graciousness by serving my brothers and sisters in Christ. Make my eyes more able to see and my hands more willing to do for others what you would do for them. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Today's Verses in Context
Jesus was going to Jerusalem. His twelve followers were with him. While they were walking, Jesus gathered the followers together and spoke to them privately. Jesus said to them, "We are going to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be given to the leading priests and the teachers of the law. The priests and teachers of the law will say that the Son of Man must die. They will give the Son of Man to the non-Jewish people. Those people will laugh at him and beat him with whips, and then they will kill him on a cross. But on the third day after his death, he will be raised to life again." Then Zebedee's wife came to Jesus. Her sons were with her. The mother bowed before Jesus and asked him to do something for her. Jesus said, "What do you want?" She said, "Promise that one of my sons will sit at your right side in your kingdom. And promise that the other son will sit at your left side in your kingdom." So Jesus said to the sons, "You don't understand what you are asking. Can you accept the kind of suffering that I must have ?" The sons answered, "Yes, we can!" Jesus said to them, "Truly you will suffer the same things that I will suffer. But I cannot choose the person that will sit at my right side or my left side. My Father has decided who will have those places. He has prepared those places for those people. Those places belong to them." The other ten followers heard this. They became angry with the two brothers. Jesus called all the followers together. Jesus said, "You know that the rulers of the non-Jewish people love to show their power over the people. And their important leaders love to use all their authority over the people. But it should not be that way with you. If one of you wants to become great, then he must serve you like a servant.
Who is more important: the person sitting at the table or the person serving him? You think the person sitting at the table is more important. But I am like a servant among you!