Living as a Servant
For us as we enter Holy week and get ready for Easter, Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, that Jesus came to give his life for us and to serve us. What does that mean for us today? Are we giving our lives for one another? Are we here to serve one another or are we demanding to be served? For me, I love this idea of servant leadership. That the way to lead is by serving others. To serve the least and lost around you. Are you paying attention to them, lifting them up, trying to help them be a part of the Kingdom of God?
I want to read for you a story from the gospel of Mark 10:33, that comes right before Holy Week starts. Right before Jesus enters Jerusalem.
33 saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. 34 And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.”
Jesus tells the disciples what is about to take place. He’s going to be condemned to death. They’re going to mock him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. After 3 days, he’s going to rise.
All of this seems to go right over their heads because the next thing we read is James and John wanting the privilege to sit on Jesus’ right and left when he is glorified. Jesus says, “Are you going to be able to drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism that I’m about to be baptized with?” What he means, I believe, is are they going to be able to suffer like he is going to suffer? Are they going to be able to endure the persecution that he is going to endure?
They say, “We can do that, we’re fine.” Jesus tells them they’re right. They will, but it’s not his right or privilege to say who gets to sit on his right or left.
Jesus is exactly right when he tells them they will suffer like him. We know in the book of Acts that James is the first of the 12 to be beheaded. Herod sees that this pleases people so he puts Peter in prison and is going to kill him too. That’s one of the times Peter is miraculously let out of prison. Jesus tells them, “You’re going to suffer like me.” And this seems to go right over their heads.
The ten hear about it and get indignant. They can’t believe they were asking for this privilege. These guys are still trying to vie for power and prestige. Jesus follows it up with another lesson on who is the greatest.
Mark 10: 42 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. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
For us as we enter Holy week and get ready for Easter, Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, that Jesus came to give his life for us and to serve us. What does that mean for us today? Are we giving our lives for one another? Are we here to serve one another or are we demanding to be served?
For me, I love this idea of servant leadership. That the way to lead is by serving others. To serve the least and lost around you. Are you paying attention to them, lifting them up, trying to help them be a part of the Kingdom of God? This is an incredibly difficult thing to do in our normal world. It’s also incredibly difficult to do when you’re stuck at home with a whole bunch of kids wanting your attention and you’re trying to get work done.
How can we do this here and now, in our own way, in our own places? How can we serve those around us, paying attention to the least and the lost, the hurt and the broken?
Let me pray.
God we thank you for your love for us. We lift up our state as we are having to extend the shelter in place. We lift up our world as we deal with the rising death rate. We ask for your hand to be upon us. Help us to be safe, to stay put where we are. Help us to be your hands and feet in our world and to understand what it means to be Christians here and now. Help us to be able to share your light, truth and love with the people around us. We pray all this in Jesus name. Amen.
Grace and Peace.