The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:45
Many come to Jesus, wanting to sit restfully and comfortably in His kingdom. But that was not what James and John had in mind when they said to Jesus: "Let one of us sit at Your right and the other at Your left in Your glory" (Mark 10:37). What they wanted was to sit with power and honor in Christ's government. According to Matthew's Gospel, their mother also made this request (Matthew 20:21).
That kind of ambition, Jesus said, was characteristic of pagan people as they jockey for position in state and society. Their preference is to be top person on the totem pole while others are cast in supporting roles. Our Lord reverses the order, saying: "Whoever wants to be first must be slave of all" (Mark 10:44).
The Savior does not ask anything of us that He Himself did not first perform, both as Exemplar and Enabler. He tells us, "The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45).
Through the ages people have asked: Why did Jesus Christ, the Son of God, come into this world? Was His mission one of social and political reform? Did He come to found a brotherhood on the basis of human love and justice? The answer is no. His was the role of the Servant who preferred others to Himself and who offered up His life on the cross for the redemption of all people. That is the Jesus in whom we believe and whom we serve.
The question occurs also to us as Christ's followers: Why are we here? Why has God created us? Why did Christ redeem us? Why did the Holy Spirit call us to faith through the Gospel? Surely that we, having been added to the family of God, might serve Him and serve one another.
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, show me human needs and opportunities that call for my service. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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