Richard Foster (Celebration of Discipline), cited by John Ortberg in The Life You’ve Always Wanted, describes how Jesus’ statement that He had come “not to be served but to serve” (Matthew 20:28) models how the grace of humility is worked into our lives:
“More than any other single way the grace of humility is worked into our lives through the Discipline of service . . . . Nothing disciplines the inordinate desires of the flesh like service, and nothing transforms the desires of the flesh like serving in hiddenness. The flesh whines against service but screams against hidden service. It strains and pulls for honor and recognition.”
Pastor Ortberg goes on the emphasize that Jesus doesn’t call us to servanthood primarily because others need our service, but because of what happens to us when we serve. The kind of servanthood Jesus calls us to is a society of sinners who help each other. When Jesus said that the last shall be first and the least shall be great, He simply was describing the truth about Christian community and what makes Christian community different from how the world looks at things.