“A dispute arose among the disciples as to which of them was considered to be greatest. Jesus said to them…’you are not to be like that. Instead the greatest among you should be like… the one who serves. For I am among you as one who serves.”
Luke 22: 24-27
The reports in all 4 gospels make it clear that right up ‘til the last supper, Jesus was trying to teach his disciples about humility, and servanthood. He even demonstrated, by getting down on his knees and washing gritty feet; and he explained pretty clearly that ‘the greatest among you… the one who rules, should be like the one who serves’.
Okay, fine. But do we need those reminders? Surely in the Church, after all these centuries, we’ve figured this out by now, right? Uh… nope.
Last week at Calvary, in a group of a dozen men who are intently working on improving our discipleship, one of us admitted “I am frustrated by my competitiveness.” I knew exactly what he was talking about, because I’ve seen it in me. Too often in conversation even ministers will ask – How big is your church? And then we silently compare. And compete. We’re asking ourselves ‘Who is the greatest’? Jesus must wince and shake his head. ‘Compare & Compete’ is the wrong mindset for followers of the Suffering Servant. But for most of us, humility and a servant heart don’t come naturally. I really have to work at it. Every time I look over at someone else’s situation, or achievements, and am tempted to compare, I have to shift my focus back. My only objective should be to serve Jesus, by supporting the people I share life with. Be a servant to my family, my friends, my church, my neighbours, and leave the results and the final scorecard to Jesus.
When I do that, there’s a tremendous freedom, and a happy peace that settles onto my spirit. It doesn’t matter what others are thinking about me, or achieving themselves. God bless ‘em all. My only concern is how much I am loving and caring for the people and situations that the Lord has brought into my life, and placed on my personal agenda. That’s more than enough for my energy and attention. And the satisfaction that comes from focusing on that simple goal is pure and fulfilling.
Thanks be to God.
Submitted by Rev.Orville James