[The congregation I serve as pastor is on a Lenten journey to what Christians call servanthood. Our members are going through these daily readings throughout Lent. I hope that readers of Better Living will find them helpful. All Scriptural citations are from the New Revised Standard Version unless otherwise noted.]
Above all, God means for you to be a servant.
Yesterday, we established that God’s goal for you is that you become like Jesus. But when He came to the world, what was Jesus like?
Paul tackled this question in a letter that appears in our New Testament. There, the apostle urges the members of the first-century church in the city of Philippi to think and act like Jesus in their life together:
“Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:5-11).
You see, Jesus had nothing to prove. He was God. So, when a crowd, impressed that He had filled their bellies with food, chased after Him to force Him into becoming the sort of king they wanted, He refused them (John 6:22-40). When the crowds who welcomed Him on the first Palm Sunday pressed Him to throw the Roman conquerors out of Jerusalem, Jesus again refused. He would be a King on His own terms, a Servant King. Jesus served in small ways--turning water into wine at a Judean wedding (John 2:1-12)--and in the very biggest way of all, giving His life on a cross. But, confident of Who He was, He had no need to “throw His weight around,” coercing people into following Him. He lovingly served others and as a result, many wanted to follow Him.
Because of your confidence in the risen Jesus, you can dare to live like Him. Above all, God means for you to be a servant.
Bible Passage to Ponder: “Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself...he took on the status of a slave...” (Philippians 2:5-11, The Message)