Compounding the irony, all of this was said by one who most earnestly taught humility and urged others to "become as little children." Preaching meekness, he warned his hearers against self-centeredness, and when they quarreled over who would be the greatest, he corrected them (Mark 10:35-45). Either he did not follow his own teaching at all, or there must have been something utterly unique about him that enabled him to teach from a very different premise of authority than anyone else. The most shocking hypothesis is simply to suppose that he was telling the truth about himself and that reports of him were substantially accurate. This is the faith of classic Christianity.
~ Thomas C. Oden, Classic Christianity (2009)