And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all. Mark 9:35
And he sat down, and called the twelve. He sat down, with the authority of the great Teacher, to inculcate solemnly a fundamental principle of the Christian life. If any man would be first he shall be last of all, and minister of all. These words are capable of two interpretations. They might be regarded as analogous to our Lord's words elsewhere, "He that exalteth himself shall be abased;" as though they indicated the penalty which attaches to unworthy ambition. But it is surely far more natural to regard them as pointing out the way to real greatness, namely, by humble service for Christ's sake.