The Greatest Among Earth


For about three years, I worked in the wedding industry. It was the most brutal job I have ever had. Working seventy-hour weeks was one thing, but the hardest part was appearing to be happy while serving wedding guests. It was as humbling as it was physically demanding. This is what usually happens when we serve out of obligation, rather than out of obedience. In today’s Scripture, Jesus paints a picture of what serving should look like.

  • What areas of your life do you view serving as an obligation? What areas do you see serving as a privilege? 


24 A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 25 And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26 But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. 27 For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.

28 “You are those who have stayed with me in my trials, 29 and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, 30 that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. Who did Jesus say will be regarded as the greatest? What people groups did he compare?
  2. If a person’s position on earth is as “one who serves,” then what did Christ promise their position would be in the kingdom he assigns? 
  3. How does Jesus’ idea of the “greatest” combat the disciple’s idea?
  4. Jesus said he was “among you as the one who serves.” How does this encourage you in becoming an entirely Christ-led being, knowing he does not command us out of authority, but rather out of action? 
  5. What areas of your life do you feel Christ calling you to become one who serves, rather than one who reclines? 


Christ didn’t tell the disciples to become “as one who serves” so they could be like him once he was gone. He told them to become like this because he already was “among [them] as the one who serves.” This is a beautiful truth.

When we view serving as a duty, we are missing out on the joy Christ wants to bring to us through humbling ourselves. When we serve, we are literally becoming more like Jesus. In verse 28, Christ addressed “those who have stayed with me in my trials.” He not only experienced the same emotions we have about serving and humbling ourselves, but he gave his life as an example of serving both the highest and lowest among us.

  • Confess areas of your life where you have either failed or refused to become as the one who serves, rather than as one who reclines (vs. 27).
  • Ask God to allow you to experience joy in his presence while you are serving.