Posted by: dhkrause | October 27, 2013

Servant of All

The Bible teaches that to be great in God’s kingdom is to be the servant of all.  In Mark 9, Jesus (Yeshua) noticed the disciples had been arguing about who was the greatest.  He surprised them by teaching that the one who wants to be first must be the last of all and servant of all:

Mark 9
33 Then they came to Capernaum. When He was in the house, He asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” 34 But they were silent, because on the way they had been arguing with one another about who was the greatest. 35 Sitting down, He called the Twelve and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 Then He took a child, had him stand among them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one little child such as this in My name welcomes Me. And whoever welcomes Me does not welcome Me, but Him who sent Me.”

In Mark 10, Jesus continues this teaching by contrasting this attitude of the servant, with that of prideful rulers who take joy in dominating others.  As the Messiah, he himself “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many.”

Mark 10
42 Jesus called them over and said to them, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles dominate them, and their men of high positions exercise power over them. 43 But it must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be a slave to all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many.”

In Isaiah 49, God describes the mission of the Messiah – to be His Servant raising up the tribes of Jacob, the Restorer of Israel and a light for the nations, and to be His salvation to the ends of the earth.

 And now, says the Lord,
who formed me from the womb to be His Servant,
to bring Jacob back to Him
so that Israel might be gathered to Him;
for I am honored in the sight of the Lord,
and my God is my strength—
He says,
“It is not enough for you to be My Servant
raising up the tribes of Jacob
and restoring the protected ones of Israel.
I will also make you a light for the nations,
to be My salvation to the ends of the earth.”

Unlike the true people of God, tyrannical people have historically looked to money as a tool to destroy others and exalt themselves as cruel and proud rulers of ever increasing empires.  In Psalm 52, David declares that God will judge those trusting in the abundance of their riches and taking refuge in destructive behavior.  True people of God, like David, trust in His faithful love, putting their hope always in His name, for He is good.

Psalm 52
Why brag about evil, you hero!
God’s faithful love is constant.
Like a sharpened razor,
your tongue devises destruction,
working treachery.
You love evil instead of good,
lying instead of speaking truthfully.  Selah
You love any words that destroy,
you treacherous tongue!
This is why God will bring you down forever.
He will take you, ripping you out of your tent;
He will uproot you from the land of the living.  Selah
The righteous will look on with awe
and will ridicule him:
“Here is the man
who would not make God his refuge,
but trusted in the abundance of his riches,
taking refuge in his destructive behavior.”
But I am like a flourishing olive tree
in the house of God;
I trust in God’s faithful love forever and ever.
I will praise You forever for what You have done.
In the presence of Your faithful people,
I will put my hope in Your name, for it is good.

When the parents of Jesus brought the eight day old child into the temple for his circumcision, a devout man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon took him up in his arms declaring him to be God’s salvation, “a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory to Your people Israel.”

Luke 2
25 There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Guided by the Spirit, he entered the temple complex. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for Him what was customary under the law, 28 Simeon took Him up in his arms, praised God, and said: 29 Now, Master, You can dismiss Your slave in peace,
as You promised. 30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation.
31 You have prepared it in the presence of all peoples—
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory to Your people Israel.

Jesus declares in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world.  Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”  Those who follow Jesus (Yeshua) are the servants of all.  To them he declares in Matthew 5, “You are the light of the world.”

14 “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, https://compellinglove.net/, 10/27/13

 (Bible Quotations are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible.)


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