The Heart of a Servant

July 11, 2018

Matthew 25-… But Jesus called them to Him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentile Lord it over them, and the great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you, but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve.”

            The “rulers of the Gentiles” refers to people who live by the dictates of the world and not by the plan of God. That is something we understand quite well. A ruler is a big-shot. He is most definitely not a servant. The Kingdom of God is not a minor adjustment to what we know, it is a totally new path, often contradicting what we live with. This would have been a hard teaching for the disciples. In the ways of the world, Jesus would be a ruler, with power and authority; and the disciple, by their association with Him, would have shared that authority. I think I would have wanted to ignore this teaching and wait for something more fulfilling and self edifying.

            But, this is the very heart of what it means to live in God’s Kingdom, to be a Christian. It emphasizes humility and selfless thinking. We shall be known by our love. Love is first an attitude and then an action. It begins in the heart. Being a servant to other people is a heart attitude before it shows up in actions. Then it is an expression of what is in our hearts. Give yourself a test. When you hear of a need in someone’s life do you want to help or do you want to find out why it happened so you can avoid it. A servant thinks, “I can help.” A ruler thinks, “You are not the quality of person I want to be around.”

            I am fortunate that Jesus does not think like a ruler. I would probably not be in His graces. He humbled Himself to be the ransom for my sin. Because He did, I am counted in the beloved.  That is the power of selfless humility. We can pass it on. It’s not rocket science. It is radical. The kingdom of God is not a life of picking and choosing what we like; it is a life of complete abandonment to God’s ways. God turns the world on its head. A humble servant is not our picture of a ruler, right? We must first have the heart of a servant. Let’s start there.