By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
First Epistle of Peter, 6
pastor corner

Dr. Lawrence Butler

The Bridge Church, Pembroke

It is rather surprising to me how often the 12 disciples of Christ sought to be labelled and blessed as the greatest in the kingdom of God. Apparently there were several occasions where the men disputed among themselves over this subject. 

On one such day, Jesus took a child and set him in the midst of the disciples. Using the child as an example, He instructed them in the importance of humility, telling them that except they became as little children they could not enter into the “kingdom of God” (Matt. 18:1). One of the greatest events recorded in the New Testament is the transfiguration of Christ, when the eternal glory of His deity was revealed in His flesh, causing His face and body to shine with heavenly glory. Peter, James and John were with Jesus on that mountain, seeing Moses and Elijah with our Lord in His glory. I remind you of this marvelous experience only to point out the carnality of the men with Jesus that day. A short period of time passed, and they were at it again, this time disputing, “who should be the greatest” (Mark 9:33-34). Time and again our Lord tried to instill in them the concept of servanthood as the path to true greatness. Just after this conversation John pointed out that another person was casting out devils in the name of Jesus, and he tried to stop him from doing so. No doubt feeling that no one other than themselves should be doing such. This probably came from a feeling of entitlement. All the way to the night of the last supper this struggle with self-importance continued, becoming so heated that there was actually strife (Luke 22:24).

I think this is probably enough about the struggle these earthly creatures had with pride. Our Lord taught, over and over, that they should seek to serve others and not to promote themselves. He taught them mostly by His own example. He gave up His heavenly position to come and live among us in human form, to pay the ultimate price for sin by dying for us. He girded Himself with a towel and washed their feet before He headed off to the shame, suffering and sacrifice at Calvary. There has never been a better example of servanthood than our Savior.

Now, as Peter attempts to teach the church leaders of his time, as well as all of us, about Christian leadership, he directs us to, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (I Peter 5:6). We are told that God really cares for us, and our exaltation will come in God’s time. Never seek to promote yourself.

Sign up for our E-Newsletters