Christians are called to serve one another in love (Gal. 5:13). But the main takeaway–for this post–from the cited passage is the call to serve. As Christians, we bear the name of Christ in our identity. Meaning, we ought to conform in Christ-likeness and exemplify Christ’s life in our lives to others for God’s glory.
To that thought, we ask, did Christ model servanthood in His time on earth? The short answer is “yes.” But even before Christ modeled the life of service, He was the expected servant messiah in the Old Testament. In fact, it is written in Isaiah 52:13 to 53:12 that Christ—as the fulfiller of the messianic hope—was presented as a “suffering servant.” The Messiah in the OT is not someone who will conquer with a force of a massive army nor as a great political king. But rather, the Messiah will serve, and in His service, people will be freed from their trespasses, bondage of sin, and be redeemed from their wickedness.
This Christ-like kind of service is servanthood. Richard Foster noted–in his magisterial work entitled Celebration of Discipline— “When we choose to be a servant, we give up the right to be in charge…we surrender the right to decide who and when we will serve. We become available and vulnerable.”
Furthermore, Christ himself is aware of this calling. Jesus came to serve and not to be served (Matt. 20:28; Mark 10:45). This is also evident in the foot-washing of his disciples in John 13. This is the very model of service for Christ-followers—Christians. Christ said, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (Jn. 13:15).
Let me end with Foster’s prayer (may we echo this prayer too), “Lord Jesus, as it would please you bring me someone today whom I can serve.” Remember to exemplify Christ as the ultimate Serve-r.
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