“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, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” -Matthew 20:26-28
Have you heard the saying, “God helps those who help themselves.”? This is not necessarily true. Jesus spoke a lot about servanthood while he was here on Earth. If we want to be great in God’s kingdom, we need to be prepared to be a servant to all in this world. Look at this story from Luke 16:19-25.
“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.”
What does it look like to be a servant? Jesus is our ultimate example. He was not afraid to do things that would have been humiliating to any powerful leader. Though he led the disciples, he got down on the ground and washed all of their dirty feet (John 13:1-20). Though he is the creator and ruler of the world, Jesus allowed the Romans and Jews to crucify him, making a mockery of his name, just so that the will of God would be carried out (Philippians 2:8). Jesus healed multitudes of people that were labeled as unclean by the Jewish law (Luke 17:11-19).
As Christians, follow Christ’s example! Be willing to be humiliated for Jesus. Be willing to bring relief to anyone that comes your way. Be willing to sacrifice what you have for the betterment of other people. And if it comes to it, be willing to die for your faith. Servanthood is a humbling of self and an elevation of others.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:3-11)