Pastor Thomas Smith   -  

“For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

James and John had just requested special places of honor for themselves in the Lord’s kingdom. When the other disciples knew of their inquiry, they became angry with the two. Pride and self-exaltation will generally lead to strife. Jesus used this incident as a platform to teach the disciples a lesson about humility, service, and purpose of life. He instructed them that in His kingdom, there are different guidelines for promotion and responsibility from those we find in society. In the world, those who are leaders tell others what to do and see to it that they obey. It should be noticeably different with His followers. In our case, the more a person is to lead, the more they are to serve. This does not mean that leaders are not to require accountability and diligence. It simply means that we never cease to be servants. As a matter of fact, true leaders will become better servants. With that said, Jesus put before them His purpose and example. “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” The Lord did not require of others what He did not model Himself. He did not come to be served, but to serve, and to ultimately give His life for our salvation.

With that, Jesus gave His disciples a motive or purpose for living. Why are we here, TO SERVE OR TO BE SERVED? It is obvious in our society that the general population of our generation would prefer to be served than to serve. Many will tell you, in so many words, that they feel that the world owes them something. We have grown accustomed to being rewarded for slothfulness. Doing as little as necessary is the general attitude. To the selfish mind, serving ourselves is understandable, but serving others is somewhat unusual. That is the way of the world, but that is not the way in Christ’s kingdom. He wants us to become like Him. We are to be trained as servants — servants of Jesus Christ and servants of others.

If someone were to follow us around for a few days, what would he say about our purpose in life? Are we here TO SERVE OR TO BE SERVED? Serving others as a way of life requires an adjustment in our way of thinking about others and ourselves. We must humble ourselves and seek to follow the example of our Savior.