Jesus, during His passion, challenged both His disciples and His detractors, albeit in different ways. Both sorts of challenge deserve our attention. Of the many ways He challenged His disciples, the challenge to become great by serving others is among the most profound. His challenge to the chief priests and scribes is equally emphatic.
Again, as you slowly and prayerfully contemplate Jesus challenging his disciples and his detractors, it might be helpful to consider the sadness He must have felt – sadness because the disciples didn’t get it and sadness because the chief priests and Pharisees refused to get it. Remember to use your imagination to see and to hear every detail of the scene. What impresses you the most? What detail makes you want to speak to Him? What do you want to say?
Jesus challenges His disciples
Then an argument broke out among them about which of them should be regarded as the greatest. He said to them,
“The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them and those in authority over them are addressed as ‘Benefactors’; but among you it shall not be so.
Rather, let the greatest among you be as the youngest, and the leader as the servant.”
Jesus challenges His detractors
When day came the council of elders of the people met, both chief priests and scribes, and they brought him before their Sanhedrin. They said, “If you are the Christ, tell us."
But he replied to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I question, you will not respond. But from this time on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.”
They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?”
He replied to them, “You say that I am.”