Matthew 20:26, “Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant”
Mark 10:45 Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many”
Do you know what it means to have a servant’s heart? The word servant simply means to serve and to serve means to help, assist, or attend to. Most individuals think of the word servant with a negative attitude because they see servants as those who wait on someone hand and foot. They believe a servant is a horrible job to have because it is demeaning and thankless. However, to be effective in the Lord’s service we must be willingly to take the role of a servant. It has been said that the beauty of a servant is defined not merely by their thoughts but by their actions. Human nature defines that thoughts are the reason behind a given action of a person, but the overwhelming thought directing any action should be the expression of love within the heart.
So, do you have a servant’s heart? Has God blessed you with the insight to see the needs of others and reach out in compassion and understanding even when they, themselves, cannot reach out and ask for help? The disciples of Jesus had a hard time learning this, and so do we. Even the godliest person sometimes will rebel when called upon to do something they feel is beneath their dignity. In our pursuit for the marks of mature spirituality and leadership ability, we must not bypass that quality which so completely characterized the life of our Savior Jesus Christ, which is the quality of unselfish servanthood. Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
The apostle Paul added to this focus when he wrote, “Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but the interests of others as well” (Philippians 1:4). But then pointing to the Savior as our great example, he quickly added, “You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had.” Samuel L. Brengle, a brilliant orator and highly successful pastor, was so burdened by the plight of the inner city poor that he resigned his church and joined the Salvation Army in London. Soon after being inducted, he was given the task of cleaning a pile of muddy boots. This was too much! Inwardly he rebelled; but then he thought about how Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. He then asked the Lord for a servant’s heart, cleaned the boots, and went on to a fruitful ministry among the disadvantaged.
The story has been told of a noncommissioned officer who was directing the repairs of a military building during the American Revolution. He was barking out orders to the soldiers under his command, trying to get them to raise a heavy wooden beam. As the men struggled in vain to lift the beam into place, a man who was passing by stopped to ask the one in charge why he wasn’t helping the men. With all the pomp of an emperor, the soldier responded, “Sir, I am a corporal!” “You are, are you?” replied the passerby, “I was not aware of that.” Then, taking off his hat and bowing, he said, “I ask your pardon, Corporal.” Then the stranger walked over and strained with the soldiers to life the heavy beam.
After the job was finished, he turned and said, “Mr. Corporal, when you have another such job, and have not enough men, send for your Commander in Chief, and I will come and help you a second time.” The corporal was astonished. The person speaking to him was General Washington! God measures greatness by service. The Lord Jesus has set an example, for though He was God and worthy of all honor, He “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).
In the book of John it is recorded for us that during the Last Supper, Jesus performed the task of a lowly servant by washing His disciples’ feet, setting the stage for His astonishing statement about humility, “You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:13-14). Thus, Christ the Lord has set the example for all who would follow Him, confirming that it’s not what we’re called, but what we do that counts.
When Jesus took a servant’s towel,
His honor set aside;
He humbly showed us how to serve,
And how to conquer pride. – Sper
If you’re too big to do little things, you’re too little to do big things.