So Jesus called them together and said, â€œYou know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.â€ Â Â Â Â Â Mark 10:42-45 (NLT)
A servant. Most of us would say that is not an ambition that we grew up wanting to achieve. â€œI want to be a servant when I grow up!â€ No, that wasn’t in my dreams. But Jesus tells me that is my dream now that I am His disciple. Is that a lesson that I am trying to ignore?
A servant lives on the schedule of her/his Master. I have had a couple of friends that embraced allowing God to set their schedule every day with no visible argument. That hasn’t been so easy for me. I like a plan. I like a calendar with notes that lay the foundation for a schedule and tasks to accomplish. Now I do believe that Jesus can give me a schedule. But I also think He wants me to be flexible enough to respond to an immediate need. Like praying for someone right then when a need becomes known.
A servant doesn’t get to negotiate which tasks he/she will and will not do. Jesus showed us that mundane things like enough refreshments at a wedding, feeding people who left home without their lunch, and washing dirty, stinky feet are tasks that He considered important enough to handle Himself. His example tells me that no task is excluded from the possibility of my list. I had a lady, well-educated, prominent job in the community, that whenever we had a weekend conference or seminar at church, she would just quietly take on the task of making sure that there was plenty of toilet paper in the bathrooms and wipe down the sinks, just keeping things nice for the guests. I just happened to catch her doing it one time. I bet she made Jesus smile!
A servant doesn’t get wealthy. A â€œgoodâ€ master provides his servants with food and shelter;takes care of them when they are sick. A servant is not paid an enormous salary and may not ever retire. Jesus warned His disciples that they may not even have a place to rest their head like a fox does (Matthew 8:20). Jesus teaches me that my reward is in heaven. It is there that I will find great treasure.
A servant wants to please her/his master and lives just to serve the master. A servant has little ego. The ego is about doing their tasks well and representing their master in a way that brings applause, or glory, to the master, not the servant. The master’s vision becomes the servant’s vision. The servant even obeys the tasks given to achieve the vision when he/she doesn’t understand the â€œwhyâ€ of the event.
Jesus leads me in this life from a position that is always in front of me. Jesus shows me how to walk without fear that limits the victory of the battle. Jesus shows me how to negotiate difficult paths and tasks that are signed to me. He shows me by His example to point people toward the Father and to always thank the Father for whatever comes to bless me and teach me. My Master is worthy of my praise, my thanks, and the highest level of any task He calls me to do in His name.
Ancient of Days by Jamie Harvill and Gary Sadler (1996), sung by Ron Kenoly