But Jesus called them aside and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their superiors exercise authority over them. It shall not be this way among you. Instead, 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 as a ransom for many.’
This week’s devotional is from Tom Grant, Eden Netherton Team Leader.
The Church organises a steady stream of leadership conferences, designed to invest and raise up a generation of Christian leaders. I have attended many of these (and still do!), but I have never come across a conference for servants. Yet we don’t need to be biblical scholars or experts in New Testament Greek to quickly discover Jesus’ call to sacrificial servanthood, when reading through the gospels.
We live in a society that is obsessed with celebrity, fame and significance. Even the Church at times seems to have fallen foul of the desire for bigger and better. I will always remember a friend telling me how, while growing up, he had been told God had great things for him to do with his life – something I am sure many of us reading this will also have heard! He went about following Jesus, serving him in the small things that were in front of him, but subconsciously he found he was waiting for the ‘big thing’ to arrive! When his name finally did get known by the right people and opportunity came knocking, he wrestled with the decision but eventually turned it down. He felt a conviction to stay put and continue to follow Jesus where he was. He concluded, there would always be people willing to do the big, shiny roles, but who would do the small things in his community that needed doing if not him?
Shortly before Jesus went to the cross, he taught his disciples an important lesson. He took a towel, wrapped it around his waist and washed his follower’s feet. What was considered socially one of the worst jobs a servant could do, became the example he would leave them with. He calls us to serve one another, do the small things and not consider ourselves above laying our lives down for others. As followers of Jesus, we are to become servants and slaves. What if God did indeed have great things for us to do, but his definition of greatness differed from how our culture defines it?
Who has God placed in and around your life that he is calling you to serve? Do it without complaint, seeing it not as a step towards Kingdom promotion, but as following in the footsteps of Christ, who made himself nothing by becoming a servant.
Today I encourage you to pray these simple words – a prayer I guarantee you God will be quick to answer. Lord Jesus, would you show me someone today who I can serve.
Spend time with an elderly neighbour
Pick up litter in your neighbourhood
Consider volunteering your time with a local charity. Here are some great options: