What Jesus is saying to the disciples, and to us who see him as the Messiah and have decided to follow, is that our focus, our concentration, our effort should not be on us personally getting ahead. We should not worry so much about ourselves, but more about others. Jesus is in his teaching to the disciples and to us combating the very real failure of humanity. Jesus is combating “Pride” - the natural inclination of humans to be self-centred.
Jesus is urging us to follow him and be God-centred; to take the focus off ourselves and see where God is calling, where God is leading, where God wants us to grow and love. In the strength of God we can hope to change the pride we all have by remembering our true dependence upon God for the life we have. We can prefer others to ourselves; seek to serve others; be open to others; live simple and honest and open lives.
Shane Hubner, Vicar