“The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” – MATTHEW 23:11-12
I hear it in the schools, I see it in the fellowship areas, when the kids are in line for lunch or for dinner…
“Hey, I was here first.”
It’s those moments where this grumpy old youth pastor chimes in, “alright, go to the back of the line”. Jokes on them, should have let the other kid go first. Jesus says the first will be last after all.
But as I write this, I can’t help but think of the times I say “Hey I was here first”. Maybe it’s not those actual words, but the intention behind the words is the same: “my needs are more important than yours”.
When I hurry through the conversation in order to get home instead of taking the time that the other person deserves. When I change the thermostat at the house to meet my comfort standards instead of my wife’s. When I complain about singing a certain worship song.
We all do it, don’t we?
“Excuse me, you are in my pew.”
“I just don’t like that song.”
“Its too traditional”… or “too contemporary.”
Instead of asking the question, “what is best for the people around me”, we get caught up in the “what’s best for me”– after all, we were here first.
But that isn’t how Jesus acts. It’s not what He teaches. He says that whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Who ever puts others needs before themselves, will be lifted up.
He doesn’t just tell us to do it. He shows us how its done.
He looks at you and says,
“You need life, here, have mine”
“You need freedom, take it from me”
“You need a victory over the grave. I got one for you.”
Our Savior has humbled Himself for you. He sees your needs and goes to work to meet them. He isn’t worried about not having enough. He lives in abundance. He spoke the world into being. And He sees us, fighting to have our needs met, putting ourselves first. And He goes to work anyway. Because He loves us. Because He loves YOU.
He will meet all your needs.
As you consider this passage this week, think through these questions:
1. Can you tell of a time someone put your needs ahead of theirs? How was the love of Jesus shown to you in that moment?
2. Where is one place you can put someone else’s need before yours?
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