"Like the one who serves" : Jesus, servant-likeness and self-humiliation in the Gospel of Luke
This study challenges the current scholarly consensus regarding Luke 22:27c and Jesus' claim to "servant-likeness" (as opposed to "servanthood", a term which obscures the force of Jesus' comparison). It investigates three facets of Jesus' claim - its significance, its basis, and its permanence. Detailed exegetical analysis of Luke 22:24-27 demonstrates that Jesus' servant-likeness is more closely related to the Lucan motif of self-humiliation than to texts in which Jesus engages in "practical service" or acts with others' interests in view. An analysis of Jesus' critique of self-exaltation in Luke's Gospel, and the application of this analysis to Luke's overall christological portrait, suggests that the basis of Jesus' claim to be "like the one who serves" is to be found in his consistent refusal to depart from the path of humiliation appointed for him as messiah. Finally, a comparison of Luke 22:27c and 12:37b serves as a starting point for assessing the permanence of Jesus' demand for and embodiment of servant-like self-humiliation. Ultimately, both verses reflect Jesus' conviction that the kingdom of God, whether present or future, is governed by the principal of status-transposition or humiliation-exaltation. According to the Lucan Jesus, the values associated with self-humiliation will find continued expression in the heavenly kingdom. For Jesus, and for Luke, the work of redemption must displace worldly concern for rank, status, and honor. To live a life that reflects this truth is what it means to be "like the one who serves".