And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,and whoever would be first among you must be slaveof all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”Mark 10:42–45
The kingdom of God is upside down! Last week, we read about the humility of Jesus, which should result in our own humility. Jesus, the Son of God, put on flesh to do what he did so we could have life. The Christmas message is one expression of that reality of humility. This week, our focus is on Jesus being a servant. His servanthood overflowed from his humility.
In the beginning of our Advent sermon series, Pastor Dustin said something that really caught my attention. We all know that Jesus was born in a barn and placed in a manger––a feeding trough! Many of us decorate our homes with nativity scenes, but do we really understand what this scene meant? When Dustin shared about this in his sermon, that Jesus, the God and King of the universe, was born in these conditions, it really woke me up. There were no nice spaces or accommodations that night for him to be born in. In his humility and humanity, he did what any human would of had to do in that case. He was born wherever he could be, which just so happened to be in a barn around the dirty animals. From the very beginning of his incarnation, Jesus took on the form of a servant.
There’s a Cost
Fast forward to years later in the ministry of Jesus. Two of Jesus’ disciples, James and John, come up to him and ask him if they can sit next to him in the future, coming Kingdom. Jesus begins to remind them that they don’t really know what their asking. First of all, only the Father knows all these things. Second, following Jesus comes with a cost. Were they willing to count the cost and live as servants in God’s Kingdom? So, Jesus has a teaching moment with his disciples. He reminds them that his main purpose for coming to Earth was to die. The marking of his life and ministry was to serve others. He was a servant. Although this shocked people, it also drew people in and attracted them. Now you see why I said this is upside down! The last will be first and the first will be last.
In the coming Kingdom, pride would not be rewarded but servanthood will be.
In fact, Jesus teaches about this in Matthew 25:34-40. When Jesus comes back, He will separate believers from unbelievers, and will say this to the believers:
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
Who Can You Serve?
Every ounce of servanthood in this lifetime matters! If Jesus centered his earthly life and ministry around being a servant, how much more should we? When we serve others, it brings glory to Jesus and reflects him to others.
So, what should this look like for you this Christmas season. How can you display a servant lifestyle? Who can you serve? Maybe a next step for you is to come to our next Fill the Fridge event on December 18th where we serve food and items to those in need across our region. But don’t stop there! Let’s aim to live as servants after God’s Kingdom on a daily basis.