The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.
(Luke 22:25-26 King James V.)
The kings of nations rule and dominate them, and these are seen, in some ways, as benefactors only because they show interest in certain problems, masking the hegemony. The disciples - and the church then - must not seek approval or exercise authority over others, as Jesus taught them to serve. The one who thinks he is the greatest is called to serve and to put himself in the guise of the subordinates. In the world there are forms of behavioral ethics in every area of society, and for the believer the behavior is unique even if compared to multiple realities: "All things, therefore, that you want men to do to you, make them yours too" (Matthew 7:12). If this principle were applied everywhere we would not need laws, codes and authorities delegated to order and legality. In the comparison between those who serve and those who are at the table, the second appears to be larger. Jesus explained these things to His while they were sitting, intent on dining. After he got up, he took a basin and a towel and started washing each one's feet. Pietro resisted, having fully understood who was the one who was making that gesture. According to Luke after Jesus explains to the disciples to look at him as an example of service, he praises them because they had remained with him until then: they were a team to rely on. It is a great comfort in suffering to know that there is someone you can rely on. Our certainty is knowing that God is always there and never leaves us. That same group received the promise of the kingdom: as God had given it to Christ, so He gave it to them. He is an instrument that receives and transmits. Whoever thinks of doing something for God by retaining selfishly, only serves himself. Jesus instead took His glory and His life and placed them for us.
The apostle Paul reminds us that we are sitting in the heavenly places on the throne of Christ, not because we deserve it but because someone has transmitted this truth and we have accepted it. He has decided to give us His kingdom because we are His flock, one day we will sit at His table and with Him we will judge the tribes of Israel. Ours will not be a true judgment, but a testimony of what the Lord has done for us through His immense grace. When we were lost, Jesus humbled himself by becoming a servant and even giving His life for us. The apostle Peter reminds us that we have been bought with the precious blood of the Lamb (1 Peter 1:19). At that time a person paid a sum of money to take possession of the slave's life. We have not been bought with gold or silver, but with His precious blood, and consequently we have become His and now we belong to Him. He left the glory of the Father, chose to be born in a stable, lived among us to bring us salvation. We too, on his example, are called to serve others with love, to reach out to those in need. The one who serves tends his hand to give and not to take. Whoever does it to grab is not trustworthy and from this he must take the necessary distances. We serve God and one day we will be in His presence to enjoy all that He has prepared for us.
Weekly Bible reading plan
August 19, Psalms 103-104; 1 Corinthians 2,
August 20, Psalms 105-106; 1 Corinthians 3
August 21, Psalms 107-109; 1 Corinthians 4
August 22, Psalms 110-112; 1 Corinthians 5
August 23, Psalms 113-115; 1 Corinthians 6
August 24, Psalms 116-118; 1 Corinthians 7:1-19
August 25, Psalms 119: 1-88; 1 Corinthians 7:20-40