Service—The Way to Greatness

Key Verse: “Ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.”
—Luke 22:26

Selected Scripture:
Luke 22:14-30

THE YEAR WAS A.D. 33 and the time had come to kill and eat the Passover lamb. Jesus gave careful instructions to his disciples for finding the place where they could prepare and eat it. Meanwhile as the Passover drew near, the chief priests and scribes were laying plans as to how they might kill Jesus. Satan entered into the heart of Judas Iscariot and he communed with the chief priests and captains how he might betray Jesus when there was no multitude around to interfere.

The disciples followed our Lord’s instructions and everything turned out as he said it would. They found the house and guest chamber where they would eat the Passover and they made it ready. When the hour was come, after sundown on the fourteenth of Nisan, Jesus sat down and the twelve apostles with him. Jesus expressed to them his great desire to eat this Passover with them. It would be the last time. They had eaten it together three times before. As faithful men of Israel they had done so many times before always recalling the part that the Passover lamb played in the deliverance of their nation from Egypt. They were unaware that Jesus was about to fulfill the type as the antitypical Passover lamb. He, their Master, was laying down his life for them and all mankind.

That evening, as they were eating, Jesus instituted a new ceremony, the breaking and eating of unleavened bread representing his broken body, and drinking of the fruit of the vine as representing his blood to be shed for them. This he asked them to do in remembrance of him. Yet, as all this was taking place Jesus knew that Judas Iscariot had betrayed him, and said, “Behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table.” (Luke 22:21) As they inquired among themselves as to which one of them should do this, the inquiry led to a dispute among them as to who of them was the greatest. One might expect that the somber aspect of the occasion would not have led to such strife. Apparently the apostles were still not able to comprehend that Jesus was to die that night. In their eyes he would go on forever being their Master.

It was necessary for Jesus to give them important advice. Their role models were the kings of the Gentiles who were lords over the people. This was not for them. They were to learn how to serve others, because greatness lay in their success of being servants. Jesus on a previous occasion had said to them, “the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matt. 20:28) They were to learn that following Jesus meant the same for them. They were not to be ministered unto but were to lay down their lives in service to God, their Father. They were to follow the example of Jesus and he was one among them “as he that serveth.” (Luke 22:27) After Jesus died and made possible the receiving of the Holy Spirit they would recall his example and realize how true it was that “Before honour is humility.”—Prov. 15:33

Dawn Bible Students Association
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