`For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 (NIV)
What do we prefer, to serve or to be served? Do we like to be pampered? Or should another be chosen first? Do we like to let someone else have the nice things while we are slaving away? How do we feel about sacrificing precious time and effort so that someone else can reap the benefits? How good does it feels when we are noticed? Should we revel in those wonderfully sweet moments when prizes and treats come to us? Aren´t we to take all the blessings we have been bestowed with and let them lift us up? Shouldn´t we enjoy that gratifying feeling until all those around us can see that we have been blessed? Are the comforts and success we find in this life expressions of the favor we have found in the Lord?
Jesus was approached by two of His most beloved Disciples. They wanted to know that they would find a seat close to Him in His coming Kingdom. He briefly tries to show them that God´s Heavenly Kingdom is not run in the same way as ours. “You don´t know what you are asking,” He says in verse 38. Gently He tries to lift us over our familiar systems and values. But He knows it is difficult for us to grasp. So He gathers everyone close in around Him. He brings our attention to our customary ways. Then He explains that there in the Heavenly Realm, it is different. The attitudes we hold here are not as highly valued there. Pride has no place. The good sensation of being favored is not to be sought over service. Receiving is not better than giving!
Knowing that we would have difficulty in understanding His vital teaching, Jesus gives us an example. He gives us Himself! It always comes to this! Should we think it strange that the best example we can have is Him? Everything always comes back to Jesus Christ! Is this how the Father designed it?
Jesus says that even the prince of the Universe, the heir to the throne, the conquering Savior, did not come to be served. The very One whom all creatures in all of creation should bow to did not come to be served. He came to give. He came to sacrifice. He came to slave away with sweat and tear. Does He say He did this so that He would receive all things? No? Did He come then with a different attitude? Did He come with a different heart?
Jesus Christ our Savior and rightful King tells us He came to serve, suffer for others and give His all. He gave even His very life! This is considerably more than a few moments of servitude for another. The service Jesus gave was a work and a sacrifice that no other person could possibly give. It took Divine strength to achieve. But He achieved it! He paid for the trespass of mankind´s separation from God. He laid down His very life for the ones who have turned from His Father. The glory and honor is due to Him. Authority and power are His. But does He want us to know that it was not because He sought to be King? Does He want us to understand that it is given Him because He sought to serve?
Dear Jesus, we like the Disciples find it hard to understand. It runs so contrary to our ways that we find it difficult to accept that we should seek not to receive but to serve. Our hearts enjoy to be recognized. We love the rewards and comforts. But You have asked us stop to think. Do we really want to listen? Please help us accept Your teaching. Show us how to move past our ways and take on a new and higher attitude. Teach us to serve. Teach us to give. Teach us to seek the good for others and not think of ourselves. Then when our hearts understand, help us to be like You.