“Hast thou considered my servant Job? for there is none like him in the earth, a perfect an upright man one that fearth God, and turneth away from evil.” Job 1:8
Even among the apostles there was childish bickering over the question, “Who is greatest?” It grieves us to think that even they wanted desperately to be thought superior to their fellow-workers. Each wanted to be thought the outstanding one. On the road to Capernaum when Christ asked them, “What were ye reasoning on the way?” they refused to answer because they had been disputing as to who was the greatest. Mark 9:33-34. It grieves us until we remember they were just men. And they were subject to the same vanities that assail us all.
This problem that Christ had to deal with, is still with us today. Among preachers there is the desire to be considered, not good or competent, but the greatest. Among elders there is the desire to be the lord over the other elders—we used to hear the expression “presiding elder.” Among members of the body of Christ—his Body—there is a spirit of competition that inhibits cooperation. And cooperation—working together—is what accomplishes the work we were placed here to do.
As in the time of Christ’s earthly ministry, there is a failure to understand what discipleship is all about. What is the rule by which greatness is to be measured? In whose eyes do we want to appear great—God’s or man’s? It must be an important question since Christ spent so much time dealing with it. In the content of the dispute on the road to Capernaum, Christ called the twelve and said, “If any man shall be first, he shall be last of all, and servant of all.”
In John 13, Christ taught that greatest is not at the head table, but at the foot of the table. When he washed the disciples feet he said, “I have given you an example, that ye also should so as I have done to you. A servant is not greater than his lord, neither one that is sent greater than he that sent him.” In God’s eyes, the greatest is a congregation might not be the preacher, nor an elder or song leader or deacon, but a serving member that does a conscientious, honest job of being the best servant he or she can be
“…It is required in stewards that a man be found faithful.” I Corinthians 4:2 Paul expressed his inspired insight further when he said; “it is very small thing that I should be judged of you…” An inspired statement he made to the Galatian churches explains his feeling: “For am I seeking the favor of men or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ.”