To borrow a Disney lyric that I heard recently, “Everybody wants to be a cat
Because a cat’s the only cat who knows where it’s at”. Now replace the word “cat” with boss. Every body wants to be a boss…Our nature creates in us a desire to be the one to tell others what to do, and to not want to be the one being told what to do.
Christianity is the upside down of that.
The disciples were walking along the road with Jesus, I see this in my head as Jesus walking ahead of them and the twelve in a clump, jostling each other arguing about who is the boss of whom.
Matthew 18 tells it like this.
“18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”
If we follow the example of our leader Jesus, the way up is the way down. Jesus humbled himself. He started as the Godhead in heaven, but he knew we needed him so he humbled himself and took on the form of a servant. Going back to the story in Matthew, Jesus will continue in this servant role until it kills him. He will follow the path down to the point of becoming not just a servant of all, but a sacrifice for all, a human sacrifice. His death will be the payment for my sins, for the sins of all of us. He has restored my relationship with God by being the servant to die and pay the price. It was a role only he could fill because he had no sin. He rose up from death to live forever, and offer us a way into God’s kingdom.
Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? Jesus is. The servant-sacrifice. The way up in this kingdom is the way down. The greatest of all is the servant of all.