Matthew 23:11

11 The greatest among you must be a servant.

Matthew 23:11 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 23:11

But he that is greatest among you
Either who really is so, having more grace, and greater gifts bestowed upon him, than others; which doubtless was the case of some of the disciples, or who desired to be the greatest, was ambitious of, and affected a superiority over others, and to be in the highest post and place, as it is certain some of them did. This was what they were often contending about among themselves, who should be greatest: and Christ here seems to have regard to that vain spirit, which appeared among them; and his view is, to check and restrain it: "shall be your servant"; or "let him be your servant". Service is the way to honour; he that would be most esteemed ought to do the most work; and the man that has the most grace, and the greatest gifts, ought to employ them for the use and benefit of others; (See Gill on Matthew 20:27).

Matthew 23:11 In-Context

9 And don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your spiritual Father.
10 And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah.
11 The greatest among you must be a servant.
12 But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
13 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you shut the door of the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces. You won’t go in yourselves, and you don’t let others enter either.