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The Example Left by Servant Jesus

On a certain occasion, as Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem to "give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45), two of Jesus' disciples—James and John—approached him and asked, "Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory" (Mark 10:37). It was a bold ask, highlighting the human desire for recognition, promotion, and honor. Of course, Jesus went on to gently remind them that humility of service is what they should truly pursue if they are to be his followers. "Whoever wants to become great among you," Jesus said, "must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all" (Mark 10:43-44). Why? Because even Jesus "did not come to be served, but to serve..." (Mark 10:45).

Eventually, John would "get it," and he would go on to write about the importance of humble, loving service over and against self-serving gain. He may have looked back to this occasion—when he was still seeking to promote himself—as he wrote to the early church, "This is the message you heard from the beginning. We should love one another... Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also out to love one another" (1 John 3:11; 4:11). There was a huge change in John's heart, and the selfless servanthood of Jesus was the catalyst. It's why he wrote, "Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did" (1 John 2:6). In other words, disciples of Jesus best emulate Jesus as they follow Jesus' example of selfless, loving servanthood.

But this requires surrender. Our sin nature naturally steers us toward self-seeking gain, comforts, and desires. It's what we call "Looking out for numero uno." But when we surrender to God, his Spirit produces Christlikeness within us (Galatians 5:22-23). Here's the thing: the more I humbly surrender to God and allow him to lead me and change me:

  • The more everyone around me will see Christ in me and through me.

  • The more I will respond to my household with his grace.

  • The more I will gladly serve my coworkers and friends and church family.

  • The more I will actively and intentionally seek ways to be a blessing to others, just like Jesus.

This week, look to the example left by Servant Jesus, surrender to God's grace, and, with his enablement, apply the servanthood of Jesus to all your relationships.


Scripture for Meditation

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers" (1 John 3:16).


Dear God, I want to surrender to you. Help me to be more like Jesus. Help me to love and serve as he did, so that the people I love could see your Son in and through me. Amen.


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