But Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles dominate them, and the men of high position exercise power over them. It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25-28
There is something about Jesus that attracts even hardened sinners to His life – the fact that He was sacrificial in all that He did. The love, the death, the acceptance of sinners – all these things are hard to argue against. It is obvious in reading the gospels that Jesus served the people He came in contact with.
We aren’t naturally like that.
It takes a fundamental transformation of our perspective to be a servant like Jesus.
Human nature is competitive. We want to get ahead. We’ve been taught to win – and win whatever the cost.
The truth is, we like being served. We like being on the receiving end of things. But Jesus calls us to reverse what’s natural and think like Him.
That’s a hard shift to make. All of our life is about us – from our birth we have communicated our needs with the intent on getting someone to fulfill them. We get used to the “served” position.
Today’s text is in reference to the time when the mother of James and John came to Jesus and asked Him for a special place of authority for her boys. Every mother wants her sons to succeed – and the fact is, the sons wanted to succeed. But the Church is not a place for power and position, it is a place of service.
If you want to be like Jesus today, serve someone. Use your time and talent to do something for someone else. Lift them up. Make their journey better.
The other day while driving in town I saw something behind some stores. A man was living in the woods. He sat on the ground with his wheelchair nearby. There was the scattered evidence of his camp all around him. With all that God has done for and in me, should I serve him? Can I? Would Jesus?
It’s the perspective of Jesus that confronts and challenges us – it’s not about me. My existence, my salvation – it is about what God would do for others through me.
Jesus gave His life as a ransom for us – as our redemption. Will we sacrifice something so that others can also be redeemed?
Give up being served today. Take a day and purposefully look around you to see whom you can serve. They are there – the people God wants to serve. Be His hands and feet.
Take up the attitude of a servant. As you see people to serve – whether they deserve it or not is not the question – do something outside yourself and serve them. Put your own wants last, and put theirs first.
Our prayer for today –
Lord, we love being served. But in order to be more like you, teach us to look beyond ourselves and see the needs of others. Help us to sacrifice our own needs to meet those of the people you place in our way today. Teach us to be like Jesus.
Dr. Chris Lohrstorfer