But 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, ESV, emphasis my own)
When the Israelis were looking for their Messiah, they would look to the old prophesies. In reading them, they automatically assumed that their Messiah would be a warrior king, like King David (since he was to come from his lineage and save them all). So when Jesus showed up saying that he was in fact the Messiah, they didn’t understand. This man was not a king, he was a homeless wanderer. He was a carpenter from Nazareth. He couldn’t possibly be the one they had been waiting for.
And yet, he was and still is for all of us.
We have coined a lot of phrases in the Christian church. Some good, some not so much. One such phrase is “servant leader.”
1. What does it look like to be a “servant leader?” (descriptive/characteristics)
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24, NIV)
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people (Ephesians 6:7, NIV)
One thing that I love about how Jesus served those around him is that he was interruptable. What does that not quiet real word mean? Well, look at Jesus’ first 3 miracles (I have them referenced from John simply because I like the format of that gospel).
On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants,“Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him. (John 2:1-11)
The second miracle was the healing of the officer’s son.
When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him,“Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. (John 4:47-53, ESV)
This story is a man taking advantage of Jesus passing through town. Again, there was a problem, someone asked Jesus and he solved the problem.
His third miracle was healing the lame man.
After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed (John 5:1-9, ESV)
Jesus was passing by and offered his healing. The man still had to want it and believe, but by taking a few minutes of his time in passing, he changed a man’s life for the kingdom.
Jesus served where the was a need. It wasn’t a pre-planned affair. He saw a need in the place he was at that moment. Because he took the time to stop and see the need, miracles happened.
2. How can we change our mindset to be interruptable like Jesus was?
3. How does this change your understanding of servant leadership?
I am looking forward to serving with all of you this next week. It sounds like Satan is attempting to attack several different people on our team so I am excited to see what he is trying to keep us from accomplishing for the kingdom of God.
To all my other readers, I hope these were still a blessing to you. Already anticipating the blog post when I return!