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Vol.  10  No. 2 February 2008  Page 9
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Adam Blaney

He Came to Serve

By Adam Blaney

“But whoever desires to become great among
you, let him be your servant (Matthew 20:26).

    Why did Jesus come to earth? There are many different answers we could give to such a general question. The Bible gives us plenty from which to choose: “…to seek and save that which was lost” (Matthew 18:11); “…that [we] may have life, and that [we] may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10); and for “…bringing many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10). The popular song that we sing answers the question, “Because He loved me so.” All of the preceding is good and true. However, there is one statement in the Bible that seems to stand above the others in that they are all included in the one. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

    Jesus’ life can be summarized very simply by, “Service.” Peter did exactly that when he spoke of Jesus’ ministry, saying “[He] went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). Yes, Jesus came to save, and to give life, and to bring us home to glory, but all those things can be categorized under one thought: Jesus placed the needs of others above His own. Paul would later encourage the Philippians to have the mind of Christ who took the form of a bondservant (cf. Philippians 2:5), which included “…in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself” (Philippians 2:3).

    Jesus was motivated by His attitude to serve. It was His compassion for people that brought forth His healing power. It was His concern for souls that allowed Him to deal lovingly and patiently with His adversaries. “He was able to march resolutely to His death because He understood who He was and what He had come to do” (Roper 215). All of it amounts to Christ’s willingness to place others’ needs above His own—He Served. If we, as Christians, are to be “…conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29), should we not also let service motivate our lives? One writer on this subject asked:

    What is the “image of His Son?”…I believe the simple answer is found in Christ’s own words. “For even the son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). No mumbo jumbo. Just a straight-from-the-shoulder admission. He came to serve and give. It makes sense, then, to say that God desires the same for us. …He is engaged in building into His people the same serving and giving qualities that characterized His Son. (Swindoll 18)

    There is a story of a girl responding to a lesson on selflessness saying, “But denying self isn’t human” (Roper 220). In many respects she is correct. Selfishness is in our genes. We want to take care of ourselves before others—it is a natural trait. However, selflessness—service, these are divine traits perfectly demonstrated by our Lord, and traits into which we are expected to grow. We aren’t born servants, but we become servants by modeling the life of our Savior. Let us learn to become the servants we ought to be.

Works Cited

Roper, David. The Life of Christ, 2. Truth for Today Commentary. Ed. Eddie Cloer. Searcy: Resource Press, 2003.

Swindoll, Charles. Improving Your Serve. Nashville: Word Publishing Group, 1981.

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