“For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.”
The strife amongst Jesus’ disciple about who was the greatest seems to be an every generation problem. It is natural for people to want to have the greater position. It doesn’t matter what your position is; it always seems that the next position is more desirable. The person who obtains a supervisory position seems to desire the managerial position. The young man who made the first string eventually wants to be captain of the team. Desiring the higher position has always been the desire of people.
Jesus settled this problem by telling us who is greater. He asks a rhetorical question about who is greater by asking, “For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat?…” Though it seems as if He answered the question, He actually answered it in the next statement when He said, “…but I am among you as he that serveth.” In other words, Jesus is reminding us that though He was the Saviour of the world, He served all. Let me give you several observations concerning position.
First, the greater the position, the greater the servant you must be. Humanistic philosophy is that one acquires position so that others may serve them, but God made it clear that our level of serving others must increase with our level of position or power. Jesus is the Saviour, the God of the Universe; yet, He still served those who should have been serving Him. You will never be the leader you are supposed to be if you make your position about how much others serve you. The greatest leader is the leader who serves to the capacity that his position allows him to serve. Instead of using the power of your position to dictate, you should use the power of your position to serve.
Second, beware of those jealous tendencies to desire the position of another. If you are doing what you are supposed to do, you will not be interested in another’s position. The reason the disciples were squabbling over the greatest position is because they were not busy serving like Jesus. You will always know when you are not serving enough because jealousy over another’s position will rear its ugly head in your heart. Jealousy of another’s position should be the warning light to every person to get refocused on serving those you lead. You will never have a problem with jealousy if you will stay busy serving others.
Third, a servant’s attitude and action is the precursor to promotion. There is a prevailing thought in many churches that if you want to get something done, give it to the busiest person. The reason this is true is because they are busier serving than they are griping about what they don’t have. If you get busy serving in whatever position you presently have, you will find that those above you will discover how you serve others.
The key to becoming the greatest is to serve all. When you serve everyone, everyone will push you up without you ever having to promote yourself. My friend, don’t let the Devil lure you into his trap of becoming jealous of another and promoting yourself. Get busy serving those whom the LORD has given you to lead. If you stay busy serving, you will find that you won’t have to tell everyone how great you are because they will do it for you.