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Who is the Greatest


A New Idea on Greatness


At the last Passover, what did Christ say to His disciples?


“And he said unto them, I have eagerly desired to eat Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” Luke 22: 15,16.


Concerning what had there been strife among the disciples?


 “Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be the greatest.” Verse 24. 


How did Christ rebuke this spirit?


“Jesus said unto them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 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.Verses 25,26. (See Mark 10:42-45.)


The Savior Sets an Example


What did the Savior say of His own position?   


“For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.” Luke 22:27.   


Notwithstanding that He was their Lord and Master, what example of humility and willing service did Christ give?


“So he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples feet, drying them with a towel that was wrapped around him.” John 13: 4,5.


What was the custom anciently respecting foot washing?


“Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree.”  Genesis 18:4; 19:2; 43:24. “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your father’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.” “The Steward took the men into Joseph house, gave them water to wash their feet and provided fodder for their donkeys.”  (See also Judges 19:21; 2 Samuel 11:8.)


How did Christ reprove Simon for misjudging Him in permitting a woman who was a sinner to wash His feet?

‘Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.” Luke 7:44.  


Note – From the scriptures just cited, it appears the usual custom in Christ’s time was for the guests to wash their own feet.


What question did Peter ask concerning this proffered service?


“He came to Simon Peter, who said unto him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

John 13:6.  


What answer did Jesus make?


“Jesus replied, You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Verse 7.


How did Peter feel about the Savior’s washing their feet?


“No, said Peter, ‘you shall never wash my feet.” Verse 8.


He Significance of the Service


What was the Master’s reply to Peter?


“Jesus answered, Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” Verse 8.  


Note – This ordinance is a type of a higher cleansing – the cleansing of the heart from the stain of sin. It is a rebuke to all selfishness and seeking of place and preferment among Christ’s professed followers, and a witness to the fact that, in God’s sight, it is true humility and loving service which constitute real greatness. 


Learning that union with Christ depended on this service, what did Peter say?


“Then Lord,” Simon Peter replied, ‘not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

Verse 9. (See verse 10.)


Having washed their feet what did Christ say?


“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” Verse 15.


What did He say about washing one another’s feet?


“You call me Teacher’ and Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now, that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” Verses 13,14.  

What did Christ say would be their experience in obeying His instruction?


“Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” Verse 17.  


How does Christ regard an act performed toward the humblest of His disciples?


“He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not to do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” Matthew 25:40.


“I will never, never leave you,

I will never forsake you;

I will guide, and save, and keep you,

For My name and mercy’s sake:

Fear no evil,

Only all my counsel take.”






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