Dec 7, 2005


Once when Christ was speaking with his disciples, a well-meaning mother approached him. She was concerned for her sons’ futures and hoped that by networking with this up-and-coming young carpenter-leader, they would be set for life. “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom,” she asked the thirty-something Jewish leader (Matt. 20:21). No bones about it—she knew that to get ahead in this world, her boys had to capitalize on their contacts and make the most of their opportunities. This guy Jesus was going to be a mover and a shaker, she could tell.

When the others heard her request, they became indignant, not because of the selfish absurdity of it but because they, too, wanted such status and power. Jesus, however, saw through them all. He must have smiled as he called them together and shook his head as he corrected them. Gently, he then gave them the real definition of success: “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first 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” (Matt. 20:26-28).

Our ultimate example of how to live our lives is found in the one who came not to be served but to serve. For the Christian, then, the wonderful thing about service is that our only qualification is willingness, and our greatest reward is God’s pleasure (which, of course, spills over into our hearts!). We are not driven by it, we are called to it, revealing the gracious relationship between the Son of man and the one who has been ransomed by him. As we all know, service will probably never make us famous, rich, or powerful, that is, in the worldly sense, though it will in God’s eyes. Though the world might never honor a servant’s efforts, it will almost always respect it, if even anonymously.

Taken from Feast of Life by Jo Kadlecek

Pictures taken from

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