"For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.Luke 22:27(NASB)
The Lord Jesus was sent by God to be the suffering Servant for the sin of mankind and throughout His earthly life He became the perfect example of dignity, greatness, humility and gracious service.
Imagine the scene - Jesus knew that the hour of His death had arrived when He would be despised and rejected of men, betrayed, denied and deserted by His closest friends and slain on a cross as Israel's Passover Lamb.. and the sin-substitute for the world, in fulfilment of holy Scripture.
He had just broken the bread, which represented His body and passed the cup of blessing, which represented the institution of the new covenant in His blood - and which from that night on would become a beautiful sacrament for the Church.. and a precious memorial of His body, broken for us and His sinless blood shed on Calvary's tree.
Jesus had just shocked them with the sickening disclosure that one among them was going to betray Him when an argument broke out amongst themselves. It seems strange that at this most poignant and hallowed of times that a silly squabble should break out amongst the disciples... an argument about who was the greatest!! But John fills in the details in his gospel, for as was the custom of the Jews, the menial task of washing the sweaty feet of those present at a meal was pending, which caused them to murmur amongst themselves about who was the greatest.. and who was the least important - for none wanted to stoop to the lowly level of washing each other's dirty feet on that night!!
And so it was that the Lord Jesus Himself quietly got up from the table and proceeded to carry out this menial task to the utter astonishment and shamefaced mortification of everyone present - demonstrating the perfect example of dignity, greatness, humility, grace and service to others.
Having just hosted this unique Passover supper.. and demonstrated a godly greatness in service that is unsurpassed in the history of mankind.. Jesus used His disciples dispute to teach them.. and us, a most important lesson - by asking them a rhetorical question: who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the One Who serves..
Jesus was the the eternal Son Who was given by the Father to redeem humanity. Jesus was also the lowly child Who was born to save His people from their sins. Jesus was One Who was eternally begotten of the Father and yet He graciously laid aside His glory to become the Servant of all, by willingly giving His life as a living sacrifice, as an example of perfect humanity. Jesus did all this and more, so that He could die on the cross as the ransom price for the sin of the world.
Those of us who are born from above should take Christ as our perfect example of sacrificial servanthood and consecrate our life as a living sacrifice - holy and acceptable to God. May we seek to live a life of dignity, greatness, humility, grace and service to others.. as we die to our own self-importance and self-interest.. and seek to be more Christ-like.. knowing that He came amongst us as one Who serves - to the glory of God the Father.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the beautiful example of Christ's sacrificial service. May we reflect His goodness, His greatness - His humility and His grace as we seek to live our lives in service to others- to His praise and glory.. in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.