Luke 22:27b, “But I am among you as the one who serves.”
Jesus had just shared the last supper with His disciples, speaking to them of his pending sacrifice in terms of his own body and blood (Luke 22:14-23). He was soon to fulfill the ultimate act of loving service the world has ever witnessed. It was the work He had come to do: “For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Think of it… the eternal Son of God stepped down from the glory of heaven, put aside his glorious array, and dressed down to the occasion. From His lowly birth to His loving sacrifice on the cross, He lived the life of a servant, always putting the needs of others first. Never a self-centered thought, word, or deed.
Jesus and His disciples finished their meal, and “a dispute also arose among (his disciples), as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest” (Luke 22:24). There had been other such disputes on prior occasions, but in this context, the disciples’ childish behavior appears extraordinarily despicable. The juxtaposition between the attitude of Jesus and that of His disciples is telling. At the heart of sin is pride, and pride shows itself in a self-interest that is devoid of loving concern for others. As Jesus was making His way to the cross to die for our sins, the disciples were fighting the “King of the Hill” kid’s game. But we are not unlike them.
In response, Jesus spoke to them, as He had on previous occasions, of the difference between God’s way and man’s way regarding what defines greatness (Mark 10:42-45; Luke 22:24-27). In concluding His instruction, Jesus said, “But I among you as the one who serves.” What a beautiful statement! How glorious is the Lord Jesus in His holy and sinless ways! The world has its own ideas about what constitutes greatness—power, wealth, athletic prowess, notoriety, fame, etc. But God defines greatness in terms of servanthood, and Jesus has set forth the preeminent example.
Would it be that we would look at life as Jesus did (Philippians 2:3)! That we’d measure our lives according to His attitude: “I am among you as one who serves.” In our marriages and families. In our church and in our community. At the job or in the school. That we would deliberately choose the less traveled path of a humble servant, according to Jesus’ example (Philippians 2:3-8). To do so, whether or not anyone notices, our chief concern being to please Jesus. Serving Jesus by putting the needs of others ahead of our own. “Make me a servant,” the song says, “Humble and meek. Lord, let me lift up, those who are weak. And may the prayer of my heart always be: Make me a servant, make me a servant, make me a servant. Today.”
Lord grant me the strength and wisdom, by the Spirit and your grace, to follow in your steps to be a servant of others—just like You!