Matthew 20:24-28. “And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. But Jesus called them unto Him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister: And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Can you imagine? The other ten disciples heard about James’ and John’s request, and they were jealous, muttering and murmuring among themselves at these two upstarts who dared to place themselves in positions of importance.
Jesus gathered them together to scold them–mildly, but kindly. “You men know that among the Gentiles, the kings, princes, and men of power rule over them and expect to be treated accordingly. But among you, this is not to be. I’m teaching you something new here, and this is what I say: If you want to be chief, then you must be willing to serve. If you want to be first, you must be willing to be last. If you would follow in My footsteps, you must be willing to minister rather than to have others minister to you. This is a new and better way. Put aside your petty desire to be SOMEONE, and be willing to be NO ONE.
How the disciples must have blushed in embarrassment. I’m thinking it was very quiet among them for some time. They were still learning, still seeking to understand this new and very different attitude that Jesus modeled for them.
It is in our nature to desire recognition, praise, and esteem. Sometimes, when we do rise to places of leadership, we forget our own weakness and trumpet our own success and importance.
There is an old saying that I love: He who blows his own horn generally plays a solo!