25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them.
26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.
27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—
28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
life (v.28) = soul
Christ was contrasting the measure of greatness in earthly kingdoms with that in His kingdom. Among Gentiles, the rulers are considered greater than others. In His kingdom, it is the servants who are considered great. Of course, in a kingdom where all seek to serve, this will look far different than our idea of menial service.
Christ said it was characteristic of Gentiles to promote themselves and put themselves in positions of authority over other people. The Twelve were acting just like the hard-hearted Gentiles. To correct this attitude Christ taught that if one would be great, he must attain that greatness by becoming a servant to those over whom he would rule. The one who wanted to be in a position of prominence must gain it by becoming a slave. He Himself was an example of that teaching, for although the Son of Man was destined by God to rule over the earth in the millennial kingdom, God’s Son came into the world as a Servant, not as a Master. As a Servant obedient to the will of His Father, He would give His life a ransom for many. — Pentecost, page 363
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