Christian mission is service, sacrifice; not to be served

Words for Christian Living

In Matthew 20:28, Jesus said that the “Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.”

This declaration by Jesus came during a discourse with his disciples when the mother of two of them asked that her sons sit on the right and left hand of our Lord.

The point Jesus is making is greatness is not defined by position or rank, but by service that is providing a benefit to others. It is incumbent on all of us to realize first that serving is not limited by age.

Take, for instance, Dr. John Galdun, who at age 59 joined the U.S. Naval Reserve and is now a lieutenant commander in the Medical Corps. At the other end of the age spectrum is Will Harry, a senior in high school, who will build a storage shed at Town of Farragut’s Outdoor Classroom, financing the project by selling chocolate bars and holding car washes.

The attitude to serve is one that is born out of a willingness to sacrifice.

There are numerous examples in The New Testament where the people of God were willing to sacrifice in their efforts to serve.

In Second Corinthians 8:1-5 we have the example of the churches in Macedonia that gave despite their deep poverty to aid their brethren in Judea during the time of a famine.

Within these verses, Paul writes, “For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability ... gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.”

Whatever our age, our station in life or the reason we feel compelled to serve, we do so from an attitude that goes beyond who we are, rooted in a willingness to sacrifice.

This is the lesson we learn from Jesus, the churches in Macedonia and our fellow citizens who step out and give back to others.