This passage begins with Jesus calling the disciples to Him and using what just happened as a teachable moment for them. In order to really understand this passage, we need to back up a few verses. James and John approach Jesus and ask Him to let them sit by His side in glory, one on the right and one on the left. Jesus has a discussion with them about what they are asking. Then things get interesting. The other ten disciples heard the conversation and were very angry at James and John. Jesus takes this opportunity to teach the twelve disciples a really important lesson we can all learn from.
Jesus reminds them that the rulers of the Gentiles use their positions to assert authority and control. Then He tells them that it shall not be so with them. This part always strikes me. Jesus is calling the disciples to do the exact opposite of what the culture around them is doing. The world does it one way, but they are to do it another way, a better way. He calls them to use their leadership position to serve others. Jesus says if you want to be great, then serve others. Then He gives Himself as an example of the greatest act of being servant-hearted.
This verse makes me think of Philippians 2:5-8 (ESV) which says,
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
Of all the people who could have boasted about who they were, tried to make a name for themselves, and tried to lord their authority over others, Jesus was the one. But, He didn’t. In fact, He did the exact opposite. He considered Himself nothing and took the form of a servant, and He calls us to do the same.
Jesus is calling us to something high and holy. He is calling us to lay down our own lives for the sake of others. He is calling us to use our resources, our gifting, and everything that we are to serve others. He is calling us to follow His example.
This calling goes against what our culture tells us. Our culture tells us to look out for number one (ourselves) and to do whatever is best for us in all situations. Culture tells us to make something of ourselves and to make sure everyone knows how great we are or how put-together we are. We do not need to look any further than social media to see this. In this passage, though, Jesus is calling us to do the opposite. He is calling us to go serve others. Doing so will be what actually makes us great. It will not be glamorous, and it is often a thankless job. But, it is pleasing to the Father because that is the life He has called us to live.
Week 4 Challenge:
When we place our faith in Christ, our bodies become a temple of the Holy Spirit, the literal place where He dwells. Have you been taking care of your body? How can you continue to take care of your body this week by getting enough sleep, moving your body, eating well, and staying healthy?
Week 4 Reading Plan:
Find it in your journal or on the LGG App!