“For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.” Luke 22:27

I used to fancy myself a preacher. With a seminary degree under my belt and some “success” at the pulpit, I was going to move mountains! I’d picture myself speaking to large crowds and seeing God do incredible things.

But looking back, I see how mixed my motives were. One the one hand, I sincerely wanted to do great things for God, to be faithful to the gospel, and become a godly leader; but on the other, I also enjoyed the praise — too much. I’d rehearse each word of affirmation for days afterward. Was I on a quest from God or was I on a quest to become somebody of importance?

The disciples also had a mixed bag of motives. At the Last Supper, Jesus explained that one of them would soon betray him. After adamant proclamations of undying loyalty, their discussion turned into one-upmanship — again. The Gospels reveal this to be a common theme between them.

Maybe Jesus saw a server bring food or fill a cup, because He asked, For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table?”

Well, the disciples may have thought, of course it’s the one at the table; that makes perfect sense. Masters are served. People of stature get waited upon.

So goes the wisdom of the world, then and now.

But Jesus had more to say: “But I am among you as one who serves.”

There’s the clincher. Jesus, the washer-of-feet, the soon-to-be-suffering servant, was sitting among them, making the same point He’d made before: one becomes great in the kingdom of God through service.

Do you seek positions and places of importance? If so, what is motivating you?

Dear Jesus, I admit my need to feel significant and to impress others. Please create in me an attitude of service and humility. Help me find my true worth in being Your beloved child. I want to use my gifts and talents, above all else, as ways to showcase Your excellence. Amen.

Take Action

Ask God to reveal your heart? Think of what you most long to achieve. Is God the center of that hope and dream, or are you vying to be?

Make Jesus the center again today.

Tags: questions Jesus asked Luke 22 serve