And what a truth is here! This is truly one of the most magnificent declarations in holy Scripture. Its teachings include the following:
(1) This verse gives the ground of the principle uttered in Mark 10:43, "Whosoever would become great among you, shall be your minister." Secular notions of rank and privilege are forbidden in God's new Israel on the grounds that such rankings are out of harmony with the Saviour's own mission to humanity.
(2) "And to give his life ..." The words thus translated were understood by the Jews as applicable to martyrs, and they indicate the voluntary nature of Christ's atoning death. People did not take his life, except in a limited sense, for Jesus gave his life as a ransom for men (John 10:17,18).
(3) "A ransom ..." The Greek word thus rendered denoted the ransom of a prisoner of war, or of a slave. The Old Testament use of the word in the Septuagint (LXX) meant the money a man paid to redeem his life which was forfeit because his ox had killed someone (Exodus 21:30), the price paid for the redemption of the firstborn (Numbers 18:15), or the money by which the next of kin ransomed an enslaved relative (Leviticus 25:51) Thus, the vicarious nature of our Lord's death is eloquently proclaimed by the use of "ransom" by the Saviour in this verse.
"For many ..." This is the same word Paul used in Romans 5:15, and it refers not to any restricted number but to all the millions of every generation who will receive salvation through Jesus Christ. Cranfield said the word carries the meaning of "all."
(5) In this verse, as McMillan noted, "Jesus established himself as the greatest, not because he was the mastermind of some organization, but because he, in his self-sacrifice, gave the greatest gift."
(6) Cranfield, Sanner, and many others have seen in this verse from the words of Jesus the presentation of himself as the suffering Servant of Isaiah 53, Jesus' words having a clear connection with Isaiah 53:10,11. Sanner said, "This great passage shows clearly that Jesus knew himself called to fuse in his own destiny the two roles of the Son of man (Daniel 7) and the Servant of the Lord (Isaiah 53)." --Coffman's Commentary