Because we will use the special readings for All Saints this coming Sunday, we miss some really important words from Matthew 23. Jesus continues lampooning the scribes and Pharisees, but then turns to his disciples and orders them never to accept the titles of rabbi or father or instructor. And then Jesus says, “The greatest among you will be your servant” (Matthew 23.11). Our culture shapes us to seek greatness, encourages us at least in same area of our lives to be the best. We seek upward mobility as if it is our birthright.
But to truly be the greatest of Jesus’ disciples, we must seek downward mobility. We must head down, specializing in washing feet, hanging out with the down and out. The greatest of saints are to be found hidden in plain sight in the midst of sinners and brokenness. It is this downward motion of service that truly makes us great among those who bear the name of Christ.