“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” –Matt. 20:28
A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin 5, and Ryan 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake.
Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. “If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, ‘Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.'”
Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, “Ryan, you be Jesus!”
I’ve discovered that it’s not just 5-year olds that come up with such logic. As much as we all may believe that Jesus has set up an example of servanthood, and taught us to follow “in His steps” in putting others first, we often wait for the other guy to be Jesus.
Whether it’s two little boys arguing over breakfast, or two supposed grown-ups, married to one another but posturing to see who gets their way, it’s easy to expect somebody else to be Jesus. We’d rather not have to give up anything, and we’re always afraid that if we don’t take care of ourselves first, who will? It’s the way of the world, you know.
But we’re not of this world. Last Sunday’s message on the discipline of Biblical servanthood may have gotten your attention, as many shared with me afterwards. It was indeed a radical idea that Jesus taught, that greatness comes not through power, but through servanthood. Some might even say it’s downright “other-worldly.”
But if we just hear it, or theorize over it, and don’t put it into practice in the difficult struggles of real-life relationships, then we no more believe it than the world that would think the whole idea absurd.
Here’s the challenge this week for those Christ-followers who seek to live out your faith where you are, be it at home, or at church, or in the marketplace. Yoube Jesus. Don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk. Love others unconditionally. Give your life away. Serve them, selflessly. Let them have the first pancake, even. Reflect the character of the one who gave His all for you, as you live a life of grateful obedience to Him.
I’m praying for you, that as you “discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness” (1 Tim. 4:7), our Lord will grow in you the grace of humility and dependence on Him. Have a blessed weekend.