TO CHEW ON: "… whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all." Mark 10:43,44
James and John's idea of ruling was to sit in a high place next to Jesus and share the glory of His position.
Jesus looked at the job of a ruler quite differently. To Him it was drinking the cup—of betrayal, mocking, beating, nailing—and experiencing the baptism of death to resurrection. Being a ruler or leader was all summed up in the word 'servant.'
[What is a servant? My dictionary defines it as "A person hired to assist in domestic matters, sometimes living within the employer's house." The Greek word used here is diakonos that means servant, servant of a king, waiter, deacon. Other places it occurs it is translated deacon, servant, minister.]
What do servants do?
- A household servant does all kinds of jobs from washing toilets to driving the boss to the embassy.
- If a servant lives in-house, he is accessible at all hours. He may have his defined workday but if there's an emergency, the master will get him up.
- A good servant works with the right attitude: willing, eager, enthusiastic, always doing the job to the best of his or her ability, not only when the master is watching.
"For the Christian, service is not an occasional activity, somehow separate from the rest of our lives. As Bob Dylan famously sang, 'You gotta serve somebody.' Whether we're aware of it or not, each of us has decided to orient our life around someone or something. That decision colors all our other choices" - Keri Wyatt Kent, Deeper Into the Word - New Testament, p. 188 (emphasis added).
We do well to ask, who am I serving—Jesus or someone else? Maybe it's myself. If we settle in our hearts that we're serving Jesus, we might ask, what sort of servant am I?
- Am I available for any job—high or low?
- Am I always available?
- Do I serve with the right attitude?
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for Your example of extreme servanthood. I want to be Your good servant. Help me to grow in this. Amen.
MORE: Bob Dylan singing "Gotta Serve Somebody"
Lyrics to "Gotta Serve Somebody"
The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. - Used with permission.