Jesus is the greatest of all men.
He is greatest not because He is like every other man, but better. He is greatest because as a man, He is incomparable. He is the God-Man (both fully God and fully man), and that separates Him from every other person in the category of men. There is no one else like Him. He is supreme.
It was that fact that led John the Baptist to declare, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (Jn. 3:30).
Yet despite His power, authority, supremacy, and deity, Christ came as a servant. Even in the final hours before His crucifixion (His greatest act of service), Jesus affirms that He was a servant: “But I am among you as the one who serves” (Luke 22:27).
Consider all the references to Christ as servant in the Gospels (remembering also that the OT prophesied that He would come as a suffering servant, Is. 53):
Behold, my Servant whom I have chosen;
My Beloved in whom my soul is well-pleased;
I will put my spirit upon Him,
and He shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles. (Mt. 12:18)
“…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mt. 20:28; also Mk. 10:45)
And He directed the people to sit down on the ground; and taking the seven loaves, He gave thanks and broke them, and started giving them to His disciples to serve to them, and they served them to the people. (Mk. 8:6)
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself. Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.…”Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.” (Jn. 13:3-5, 12-15)
“Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” (Lk. 22:42)
“As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me.” (Jn. 6:57)
So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.” (Jn. 8:28)
What is true of Christ is also true of His followers. He is the supreme servant. We also serve: “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all” (Mk. 9:35).