Day 33 (Mar 2020) – How real servants act

1) Mark 10:43 (MSG); 2) Matthew 7:16a (CEV)

1) Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. 2) You can tell what they are by what they do.

James and John have come to Jesus asking for positions of honour in the kingdom of God. The other disciples became angry when they hear about it. (Perhaps they wanted same thing.) So, Jesus corrects their thinking, turning their concept of greatness on its head. He shows the way: the one who truly is the greatest has come to serve and will go even further in giving up his life for us.

I’ve no such ambitions for greatness, but I still fall into wrong thinking.

I have two people in my family who need a lot of help coping with health problems and with issues of life in general. It’s taken lots of my time recently. I’ve found myself thinking that this time is being taken away from more significant things I should be doing for God – that the simple things like cleaning, searching for hearing aids or even just spending time are less significant than “more spiritual things”. God’s had to pull me up. For now, they are my gift. Serving them is not a distraction.

My other wrong thinking has been the flip side of James and John’s mistake. Far from thinking of greatness, I’m struggling with adequacy, with feeling responsible for them. God’s had to remind me that he doesn’t give me jobs to do on my own. He’s doing it with me, and he’s doing the hard bits. The creator or the universe, the saviour of humanity is working in their lives. Whatever he does is greatness. My small part is an honour even when it just feels like hard work.

Jesus doesn’t say to do the job of a servant but to “become a servant”. God’s not fooled if I just act as a servant. I need to pull my heart into line with him, not just my actions.

Written by David Cornell

8 replies
  1. Justin says:

    It’s been so true in my life that the greatest sense of felt purpose has come when I’ve genuinely helped other people. I wonder if this is the sort of greatness that Jesus was talking about in Mark 10?

  2. Jane Keong says:

    Great thoughts David so helpful as the level of support for my family members increases. Jesus’ graciousness he gets that its a process of becoming . Great reminder “I need to pull my heart in line with His, not just my actions.”

  3. Mandy says:

    Thank you David for your insight into these passages. I sense that a lot of us struggle with this balance.

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