And he sat down
As their master, as one having authority; and in order to examine into this matter, and pass judgment upon it:
and called the twelve;
all the disciples, who though they might not be all engaged in this dispute, nor equally criminal, yet were all, possessed of the same notion; and therefore Christ calls them all unto him, what he had to say, being pertinent unto them all:
and saith unto them, if any man desire to be first;
to have the pre-eminence, and be in the chief place in the kingdom of the Messiah,
the same shall be last of all, and servant of all:
his pride and vanity shall be checked; his ambitious views shall be frustrated; instead of being first, he shall be last; and instead of having superior reverence and respect, he shall be debased, and treated with neglect and contempt; and instead of being the master over others, shall be the servant of all. Some copies read, "let him be"; and so the Persic version, "let him be last, and minister to every one"; and the Ethiopic thus, "let him subject himself to all, and be servant to all"; for the only way to preferment in Christ's kingdom, or in the Gospel dispensation, is humility and meekness, and performing the lowest services to all, with diligence and cheerfulness.