“Instead, whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.”
James and John come to Jesus and ask if they can sit on either side of Him- that is have the places of power- when Jesus comes into His glory. Jesus responds that there is a cup to drink and a baptism to receive. But it is not up to Him to grant this request.
The other apostles are indignant at James and John. Jesus tells them that to rule over the others they must become a slave of all. Jesus Himself did not come to rule but to serve and lay down His life.
For many people, it is natural to seek promotion. We are told from an early age that we need to put ourselves forward.
Jesus’ kingdom is different from the world. For Jesus, influence and promotion come through serving others, not through self-centred methods.
Actually this is the way it works, even in the world. Career advancement comes through serving the needs of the employer. Even political leadership rests ultimately in serving the needs of the voters.
Serving others does not come naturally to most people, even christians. We must learn to look to what the Holy Spirit is asking us to do, regardless of the inconvenience, and to the needs of the people around us.
Lord help me to absorb the truth that the way up is down, the way to influence is service. Please show me today who I am to serve and what tasks I need to do. Amen.