Who would you consider to be the greatest person you know? If you had asked Muhammad Ali, he would have told he was (“I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.”) Not surprisingly, if you had asked Jesus, you would have gotten a completely different answer.
“The greatest among you will be called your servant”
Things to think about:
· The context for this was the Pharisees trying to show off their importance
o Best seats at the banquet table
o Overt symbols of their prestige
o Great titles of respect (rabbi, teacher, father)
· When do we unwittingly act like the Pharisees?
o Front-row seats to important events
o Prestige symbols like houses, cars, whatever hobby we’re into
o Striving for important sounding job titles
· Why is the tendency of man to seek the approval and admiration of others?
o How do people use social media in this way?
o Do you know the term “humblebrag”?
§ “I am truly humbled and honored to have been named the most amazing, successful, handsome person the universe has ever known”
· Jesus said in Matthew 23: “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
o What reasons come into your mind as to why God has deemed this to be His way?
o When we seek or claim the honor for ourselves, where does that leave others? Where does that leave God?
· Jesus tells us that the greatest among you will be your servant
o Philippians 2:3-11 says in part, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage, rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
o Why can it be so hard to make ourselves nothing?
o How does seeing Jesus live this out inspire us to follow His example?
· God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name
o what rewards accrue to us when we humble ourselves?
o a quick tour of Proverbs offers some glimpses, which of these sound like something you want?
§ Proverbs 3:34 – He gives favor to the humble
§ Proverbs 22:4 – the reward of humility is…riches and honor and life.
§ Proverbs 11:2 - …but with humility is wisdom
§ BONUS verse: Matthew 18:4 - Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
· What are practical ways you can think of to take on the very nature of a servant?
o with your wife
o the “random” people God puts in your way everyday