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A Call to Radical Servanthood

This Sunday at New Life, we saw a text in the Gospel of Mark where Jesus' disciples were arguing about which one of them was the greatest (Mark 9:33-34). Of course, when we think of greatness, we usually think of things like titles, positions, power, abilities, and influence. That's our human nature. But Jesus was different, and he said to his disciples that true greatness is found in being "the very last, and the servant of all" (Mark 9:35). In other words, true greatness in God's kingdom is found in humility, meekness, and service to others.

It's a lesson the disciples wouldn't fully understand until after the death and resurrection of Jesus, for even on the night that Jesus was betrayed, his disciples once again argued about who's the greatest (Luke 22:24). What happened next was astonishing. Jesus took off his outer clothing, grabbed a towel and wrapped it around his waist, and, pouring water into a basin, began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them off with the same towel that was wrapped around him. Jesus—the eternally divine Son in human flesh—made himself like a lowly servant and washed the feet of his prideful followers, and then he said, "I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you" (John 13:15). What was that example? It was servanthood. Radical servanthood.

It left us with a great lesson on Sunday: You're never more like Jesus than when you're serving, but that also means you're never more unlike Jesus than when you're requiring or even expecting to be served. Dear fellow Christian, how are you being a "servant of all" this week, including your "superiors" and "inferiors"? Do you have places for humble or even hidden service for your church, community, or neighbor? If not, what steps can you take to start serving? And not just service for the sake of service, but service that is fueled by the greatest motive of all: a glimpse with eyes of faith of Jesus' lowly servanthood that ultimately led him to a cross where he selflessly gave his life for yours.

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