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A Servant is not Greater Than His Master

Rev. Tse Amable | July 7, 2024 | John 13:1-17


“Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him.” John 13:16 (NIV)


One of the great mistakes being made in the Church of Christ today is that believers are only being taught about the blessings of God without giving them teachings about THE COST OF BEING A DISCIPLE OF JESUS CHRIST. We are hearing motivational messages about going for the crown of gold, not the crown of thorns on the cross. The statement Jesus Christ made in today’s key verse is so important that he repeated it in John 15:20.

Jesus Christ, by his teachings and practice, taught and exemplified a new kind of leadership – THE SERVANT LEADERSHIP. You can find references in many verses in the gospels. In Luke 22:27, he said “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”.

One hymnwriter captured this truth in the following lyrics:

Go, labour on; spend, and be spent;

Thy joy to do the Father’s will;

It is the way the Master went;

Should not the servant tread it still?

The Master we are following “did not come TO BE SERVED, BUT TO SERVE, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). If we are truly following him, then we must live as he lived – TO SERVE AND NOT TO BE SERVED.


How are you implementing the truths Jesus Christ taught concerning leadership? Do you seek to lord it over people or you are genuinely living and serving people with the heart of a servant?


Lord Jesus, I thank you for teaching me that in order to be great in the Kingdom of God, I must be a servant of all. Please help me to emulate your example of being a servant leader.




DAILY word study: GREATER

The Greek word for "greater" in John 13:16 is "μείζων" (meizōn), which is a comparative term meaning larger, greater, or more significant in size, power, or importance.

The term "greater" used in John 13:16 emphasises the inherent hierarchy in relationships between a master and a servant and between a messenger and the sender. Jesus uses this hierarchy to illustrate that His disciples, as servants and messengers, should follow His example of humility and service. It underscores that no follower of Christ should consider themselves above serving others, as even Jesus, their Lord and Master, humbled Himself to serve them.


The emphasis on "greater" invites us to reflect on our attitudes toward service and leadership, reminding us that true greatness in the Kingdom of God is marked by humility and willingness to serve others selflessly.

How can you embody the humility and service exemplified by Jesus in your daily life, particularly in your interactions with others?

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𝔹𝔸ℙ𝕋𝕀𝕊𝕋 Daily Devotional | AUDIO VERSION | JULY 7, 2024𝔹𝔸ℙ𝕋𝕀𝕊𝕋 Daily Devotional

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