Once again, Jesus is contrasting the way of the world with the way of the Word. According to our natural way of thinking, the person who is served is greater than the one who does the serving. This is how it normally plays out in secular society. But Jesus often wants us to do the opposite of what seems natural. The greatest person should be the greatest servant.
The issue here is not whether some saints should be greater than others, but rather how they use their greatness. Jesus said the great Christian is marked by the fact that they don’t use their position to push people around. While they may be the greatest, they are not to act like it, or to demand they be treated like it. They are characterized by servanthood.
Jesus never commands us to give up life, money, family, and power for nothing. He calls us to give up the temporary and imperfect things of this life in order to lay them up for the next. We are to give up wielding our platform, position, and power for ourselves. We are to serve Christ by serving His people, in order to be given a place of honor in His kingdom. In His kingdom, the disciples are promised that they will sit at His table, and that they will be given thrones on which they will be seated, and from which they will rule.
We are to pattern our lives after our Master. In fact, we do. Whatever pattern we are following is indicative of whom our master is.