And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest. And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ “But it shall not be so among you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant.” (Luke 22:24-26 NASB/KJV)
Here we read that the disciples quarreled over who would be the greatest among them. The context has a direct relationship to authority. So the argument among them was simply a matter of who should be in command. Our Lord challenges this mindset from the beginning. He said that the kings of the Gentiles lord it over them. In other words, the Gentiles liked to ‘lord over’ the people. This is certainly one of the reasons why God never wanted a king in Israel save Himself. He knew that fallen man cannot handle authority correctly. A cursory look at history is replete with abuse of power and authority. Jesus said plainly, it shall not be so among you.
The Mind in Satan
Sin and rebellion are older than the human race. Satan is the arch enemy of all creation. It is helpful to understand the ‘mind that was in Satan’:
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exaltmy throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. (Isaiah 14:12-15)
Notice how Lucifer (Satan) has become self-concious. As the anointed Cherub that covers his role was to exalt God, but now he is dead-bent on exalting himself. He went from holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty to… I will ascend…, I will exalt…, I will sit also upon the mount…, I will be like the most High. This is the trapping of leadership. It snared the Pharisees until finally they decided to kill God- having plotted to crucify him after many previous failed attempts. They loved the chief seats (I will sit…), they loved to be called, “Rabbi, Rabbi” and any other name that would exalt them (I will exalt). Jesus asked them, How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? (John 5:44 KJV) Suffice these examples to make the point as it is superfluous to name them all.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God from all eternity. He is the second person of the Godhead and recipient of the perpetual worship of the Cherubim. He knows what it is to be God. He knew what it was like to create the Universe. And yet He chose a staggering means of defeating Satan and his angels. He would do it through the humiliation of the cross.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and cbeing made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:5-8 KJV/NET/ESV)
It may sound cliche’, but it is truly impossible for us to grasp how humiliating crucifixion on the cross was in ancient times. It was the lowest form of degradation reserved for slaves, criminals, and enemies of the state. German professor Martin Hengel’s work Crucifixion in the Ancient World and the Folly of the Message of the Cross is to be regarded as one of the greatest works on the subject. The notion that God would save the world through such a means as this was utterly foolish to the ancient world. The cross was a barbaric and cruel treatment; it was obscene in the original repulsive sense of the word. And yet Jesus Christ humbled Himself from being the Son of God to endure such dastardly treatment.
Let This Mind Be in You
While Satan is saying in himself, I will ascend…, I will exalt…, I will sit also upon the mount…, I will be like the most High– Jesus Christ was living out in flesh and blood; I will descend; I will condescend to man; I will humble myself unto death- even the death of the cross. That is the greatest contrast our finite minds can conceive; and yet we are told, let this mind be in you. Let the mind of Satan be replaced with the mind of Christ. Jesus said to the people, the kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ “But it shall not be so among you.” They were worldly — but Christ was other-worldly. His kingdom was not of this world. They were moving in the mind of the Prince of the Power of the Air — but Christ came to teach the way of God.
He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself… (John 13:4-10)
The Kingdom of God is not a multilevel corporation. It’s not a Gentile business model. Here are these disciples arguing over who will be in charge and here is their Master… He poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe [them] with the towel wherewith he was girded. No doubt their Zionist hopes were being dashed to pieces before their very eyes. Jesus Christ was not here to set up a Kingdom in which they could be His generals, He was here to show forth the true example of life for all the human race to rise and take heed. This is it — there is no other. Let this mind be in you, for this is the mind of Christ.