“But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
Recently, Linde and I took a stroll through the MCC Thrift Store in Elmwood. I especially like looking at the antique items on display in that store, even though it’s a bit sobering to see items there that were brand new and state-of-the art when I was a kid! Walking past the antique piano on display, I noticed a piece of paper taped to it upon which some very profound musings were printed. It read: “Nothing in nature lives for itself. The rivers do not drink their own water; the trees do not eat their own fruit; the sun does not shine on itself and flowers do not spread their fragrance for themselves.” Reading this, my mind raced to the Creator Himself. No doubt, I thought, the blessed Creator Himself has sewn these amazing realities into the created order to reveal something about Himself. Paul declared that “the invisible things of [God] from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:19-20). The rivers, the trees, the sun, and the flowers all in some way reflect the infinitely wise and morally-perfect Creator Himself Who became One Who served. Once again we see that our God is very surprising in how He has chosen to govern man. Once again we see man’s economy very different from the Lord’s. Where man sees greatness in those who are affluent, influential, exercising authority and receiving service, God regards as great those who serve others, those who regard others better than themselves (Philippians 2:3). “And without all contradiction,” declares the Scripture, “the less is blessed of the better” (Hebrews 7:7). There is none greater than Christ, and none that ever served others the way He did. Those of us who have trusted in Him for salvation are called to walk as He walked (1 John 2:6). The apostle Paul is a stellar example of one who strove to imitate Christ in his service to others. “For though I be free from all men,” wrote the great apostle, “yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more” (1 Corinthians 9:19). He reminds us that, though we have been called to freedom in Christ, we ought not to use that freedom to follow the dictates of the flesh, but by love we ought to serve one another (Galatians 5:13). May the Lord help us to follow Paul’s godly, selfless example even as He followed the example of the blessed Lord Who loved us first, for God’s glory and for the good of others. Amen!