The greatest leader we have ever known was also the greatest servant.
I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. 16 I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. 17 Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
One of the greatest challenges for a disciple is to put aside our agenda and our pride and take the time to put others first. We are saturated with ourselves and our own ambitions and we have very little time to offer to others.
Jesus wants his disciples to serve and as a great teacher he gave us a very vivid lesson on how he wants us to behave. Imagine the awkward moment when Jesus stooped down at the dirty, smelly feet of his disciples, everyone in the upper room knew that Jesus was the greatest among them. Far greater in every way, He was a great Teacher, He performed miracles, and by that time, most of them were convinced He was the Messiah.
It would have been unheard of for the most important person at the table to wash everybody’s feet. But Jesus came to change our way of thinking and to teach us how to value things that are opposite from the world’s ways.
But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
Jesus redefined how his disciples should measure greatness. The world defines greatness in terms of power, possessions, prestige, and position. If you can demand service from somebody else then you have arrived. God wants us to out do each other in serving and meeting the needs of the people around us.
As disciples we are to look for ways to serve the hurting world around us so that others will be drawn to Jesus by our love.