One of the disciplines that doesn’t come naturally to many of us is serving others. In the gospel of Mark, chapter 10, we read the disciples had a pretty tense moment. James and John asked Jesus if they could sit at his right and left side when he entered his glory. When the other 10 disciples heard James and John wanted to take such honoured positions, they were pretty upset. Jesus had to calm them all down, and told them that unlike in the world where people seek honour, if they wanted to become great they needed to be servants. Jesus told them “the Son of Man came to serve, not to be served”.
The concept of the greatest being the servant of all, isn’t natural for most of us; clearly the disciples needed reminding of this. When reclining at the table during the last supper, Jesus got up, took off his outer clothes, and washed the disciple’s feet. This was the job reserved for the lowest of servants, and when you think about it if they didn’t have a servant on hand perhaps one of the disciples should have offered to do the job. The message Jesus was giving to his team was pretty clear, if the master could do the lowest job, serving one another was the order of the day.
So why is service such a good discipline to practice in our walk with Jesus? For a start it’s what Jesus said to do, also:
When we are serving our attitude is important, and it will be tested; when we serve:
Serving others usually doesn’t come naturally. Jesus told us as disciples we should take up our cross and follow him, he didn’t tell us to sit back on a cushion while someone serves us a cup of coffee. Serving is in a small measure dying to ourselves by putting other first.
As we consider serving others, let’s think about ways we can serve those around us at home, at work or at school, in our community and at church. If we are treating service as a discipline, something we practice until it becomes second nature; then why not consider looking for the most unglamorous role, with the least recognition, and do that. Do it with no expectation of reward, knowing that in serving we are becoming more like Jesus.