"Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them." Luke 22:24
My usual response when I read that verse is to shake my head and cluck something like this - "Oh those crazy disciples, arguing over who's the greatest - right in the presence of Jesus! Oh the pride! The nerve! The foolishness!"
But this morning, my finger-pointing aimed right at myself. God lovingly convicted me of how I do exactly the same thing. "Aren't I always in your presence?" He asked, "How about when you argue with someone, so convinced that you are right. Or when you judge, so sure you're the better driver, the better mom, the better servant of Mine."
Muhammad Ali boldly declared, "I am the greatest!" But don't we often think the same thing in subtler ways? Every time we think our ways are better, we are subconsciously reinforcing our opinion of our own greatness.
Jesus responded to His disciples (and to us), "But among you it will be different. ... Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves." Luke 22:26-27
"But not here!" Jesus said. Here, in God's kingdom, the greatest is the one who seeks to take after Jesus. After washing His disciples feet, Jesus said, "I have given an example to follow. Do as I have done to you." Jn 13:15 Just the opposite of the world where people clamor to assert their greatness. "Among you it will be different."
Even as Jesus taught and corrected, He encouraged. "Just as my Father has granted Me a Kingdom, I now grant you the right to eat and drink at my table in the Kingdom. And you will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Luke 22:29-30
So it's our choice.
We can can be filled with our own temporary "greatness" for our short time here on earth.
Or we can be a servant here and then rule with Him for all eternity.
"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: … taking the very nature of a servant.” "Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you." Phil. 2:5-7, Romans 12:4