Being a servant in a #mefirst culture
“A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest.” (Luke 22:24)
A dispute arose among the disciples. They desired glory, each for themselves. The argument was all about pride. If there is one characteristic that is at the root of all of the various manifestations of sin throughout the Bible and in life, it is pride.
Pride puts ourselves first, both in how we view ourselves and in how we act. We live in a #mefirst culture, and pride is the sin behind it.
Think about how we see pride all around us:The love of money is pride. It’s not the physical pieces of paper that we want—it’s a desire to be in control of all that happens in our lives. Arguments in marriage come from pride. We desire to be right and so we press our point. Anger is fueled by pride. The desire for credit or recognition drives our poor treatment of others.
So the disciples’ argument is revealing their heart, which isn’t all that different from our own. Jeremiah 45:5 should be ringing in our ears: “And do you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not.”
A Shift in Identity
“Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.” (Luke 22:26)
Jesus turns the natural way of thinking on its head.
Jesus wants them to think in a completely different way about their identity—be a servant, because serving others at great cost demonstrates the heart and love of God. This is exactly what Jesus has come to do. Matthew 20:28 says, “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” When Jesus talks about serving, it is radically others focused, even to the point of death.
Serving the way Jesus talks about serving is a fundamental shift in thinking about our identity.
If there ever was one that should have been served, it was Jesus. Colossians 1:16 says, “For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities— all things were created through him and for him.”
Take a moment and think about how it would impact your life if you recognized your fundamental identity was that of being a servant of Jesus—and therefore, of others—every day. How would it change your workplace? Your family? Your other relationships?
While everyone else is out for themselves, #mefirst all the time, Jesus, the all glorious, worthy One, served to the point of death.