No, that’s not a mistake: I’ve included verse 23 in today’s entry again. I think it gives a big clue into how this argument came about. Imagine with me: Jesus has just said one of them will betray Him, so now they’re in a real life Among Us situation. All of the disciples are looking at each other, wondering which one of them is the Betrayer. Some go so far as to ask Jesus if it’s themselves, including Judas, funnily enough. Jesus even lets Judas know He knows it’s him (Matt. 26:25), and tells him to be about it. Judas slips away into the night, and none of the others notice this exchange at all. (John 13:26–28)
Instead, they’re all trying to prove they would never betray Jesus to their fellows. “I love Jesus more.” “Well, I’ve been with him the longest!” “No, He called me first!” It’s so funny how these guys have been with Jesus for years and still don’t really get what He’s about. Supposedly, they’ve even had this conversation before, when James and John’s mother tried to get them special positions in God’s kingdom. It’s easy to feel superior, but whenever you see someone acting the fool in the Bible, watch yourself. You’re just as sinful as they were, and just as prone to wandering from perfect righteousness.
Jesus lets them know again that servants are leaders and leaders are servants in God’s kingdom. Earthly kings might call themselves “Benefactor”, but that doesn’t mean they really do good to those under them. In contrast, Jesus has come as a servant, and He says He will give kingdoms to those there who have stayed with Him.
You alone are the greatest, and everything we are and have has only come from You.