Jesus, the Man-Servant

And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. Matthew 20:27-28

The zeal has risen to chase success. Social influencers, mentors, and ministers who once exalted God are eager to help us achieve social status and financial wealth. Those who have made it to the top of their game in the sports arena are known as Most Valuable Players. And that concept has infiltrated the mindset of most people who are striving to be among life’s most valuable players. Status and wealth are the most prevalent and valued worldviews.

Christians who once followed in the footsteps of Jesus’ lowly social status have exchanged biblical beliefs for today’s prosperity messages. They will not share their wealth or volunteer their time to help those in need. Pride has permeated the hearts of believers who have been deceived by Satan to accept worldly values. Although they attend church once a week, they are competing to climb the ladder of the elite–the rich, famous, and powerful.

Jesus’ disciples also had a separate agenda from his earthly mission. Because they envisioned Jesus setting up an earthly kingdom, his 12 disciples failed to understand His sermons and parables. Their minds were blocked by the true desires of the heart, yes, they craved status, power, and money. Yet, the brothers, James and John [Sons of Thunder] had a sense of entitlement and were bold and aggressive with their prideful arrogance. When they compared themselves to the other disciples, certainly no one else was entitled to sit next to Jesus when he became King.

“Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him. And He said to her, ‘What do you wish?’ She said to Him, ‘Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.'” Matthew 20:20-21

What is very unusual is that the disciple’s mother approached Jesus. Remember this was a time when women had cultural restraints–they were seen and not heard. In biblical times, women were not forward with men nor did they voice their opinions. Yet, she advocated for her sons, James and John. The strong love of a mother’s heart gave her the courage to ask Jesus to give her sons the positions of sitting on His right and left hand in His kingdom.

Note that Jesus did not rebuke their mother. Although human, Jesus was divine. He discerned her request was from a mother’s love for her sons. The desire for Jesus to be King was foremost in James and John’s mother, His disciples, and the multitudes who followed Him. He read the hearts of those who misunderstood the purpose of His earthly mission. Yet, Jesus always demonstrated compassion in His interactions with others and remained steadfast in godly principles.

“But Jesus called them to Himself and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.’ ” Matthew 20:25-26

Regardless of the disciple’s rowdy personalities, Jesus was aware that 11 of the 12 would experience a spiritual transformation. Yes, men with hearts that secretly possessed worldly desires would become meek and humble servants.

To follow Christ is to live a life of humility and servitude to others. Because of sin, our hearts are in opposition to being counted as the least. Yet, our earthly mission has been designed by God. The standards of discipleship are predetermined by God and are non-negotiable. Whether God has placed us in a position of status or lowliness [to represent Christ], a disciple must live a life of servitude to God and to humanity.

Prayer: God, we ask forgiveness for having agendas that include self-glorification. We ask for a spiritual transformation of our hearts and to live as Your disciples. Please reveal the areas in which we are to serve others. In Jesus’ Holy name, we pray. Amen.

Author: steps2successwithspiritualsolutions

It takes courage, perseverance, faith, and trust to serve God in today's unstable world. Yet, we are never alone. Pray daily and pray often. Study the Bible. The Scriptures are a Love Letter from God to those who accept Jesus as their personal Savior. You will receive comfort, knowledge, and wisdom. God says, "I have loved you with an everlasting love." Jeremiah 31:3. Be blessed in Jesus' name. Amen.

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