Not To Be Served, But To Serve

“Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28

Two meanings for “servant” are used here. Whoever would be great must be your diakanos, or one who serves others, as a ‘deacon.’ This is a horizontal service. Whoever would be first must be your doulos, one submissive to a Master. This is a vertical service. Jesus came, wholly submissive to His Father’s will and plan, and served unselfishly, with abandon, expending time and energy, comfort and His very life, for others. He calls me to do the same.

Serve God 18th century Dutch Delft plate

Serving must be fueled not by what I prefer to be needed (or do), not by my own strength and impetus, but by my submission to my Master. “As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God.” I cling to Him, I yield to Him, I get caught up in what He is doing. As I learn from Him and hear from Him, so shall I go. (Psalm 123:2)

“Where you go, I’ll go
Where you stay, I’ll stay
When you move, I’ll move
I will follow you.
Who you love, I’ll love
How you serve I’ll serve
If this life I lose, I will follow you
I will follow you”                                                                                                                                      -Chris Tomlin (2012)

So be it, Lord and Master.


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