Summary: Giving, Forgiving, Forgetting, and Serving. “Father, please transform my life so I can become more like Jesus every day.”
Who was the greatest person who ever lived? Without question, no person more greatly impacted the course of history than Jesus Christ. He didn’t do it through wars, conquest and domination. He changed the world by serving others.
Jesus was the supreme example of servanthood. So how can we ever be just like Jesus? He was God, we aren’t. He could rely on His deity to make good choices, we can’t. He never fell to temptation, we do. When He wasn’t talking and ministering to people, He spent His time in prayer. We don’t because there just isn’t enough time in a day! Jesus loved unconditionally; we love when the conditions are right. It seems impossible to be just like Jesus in our world today. Times are different; life is faster, more complex, and much more complicated. In fact, we reason; if Jesus were to come to earth today, even He would have a difficult time being Himself! That couldn’t be further from the truth; Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus said, “I have come into this world to serve, not to be served.” Imagine the creator of the Heavens and the earth came to serve. The highest of high, the Holiest of Holy, the mightiest of mighty came as a servant to teach servanthood to those who were called to be followers of Christ. If we are to be like Jesus, we are simply called to be servants. In the book “The Servant Principle”, Rick Ferguson writes; “Servanthood is not a very popular subject. Servanthood has a cost of personal investment that goes against everything we are taught. Servanthood totally conflicts with the self-centeredness ingrained in every person and this request to deny all personal desires is never met with excitement. No one wants to hear the call to relinquish all personal rights and privileges. No one wants to accept the challenge to develop a slave’s mindset. Servanthood contradicts absolutely every single thing inside us. Everything. Everything, that is, except the Spirit of God.”
According to Jesus, “The way to become great is to become a servant.” It should be very comforting to us to know that Jesus had to teach this servant principle to His disciples – men He had called to help Him in His ministry. They were just people like us when Jesus called them, all twelve wanted to become great, all twelve wanted prestige and power, all twelve were jockeying for position….they even had their mothers involved in that pursuit of power! Jesus told them “if anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
Jesus defined the servant principle with two different Greek words, Diakonos and Doulas. Diakonos (Dee-Ak-O-Nos), where churches get the word “Deacon,” literally means “kicking up dust.” It was the Greek word for “Servant of a King” and it came to be associated with a servant so anxious to serve, he kicked up dust running to obey his master. The second word, Doulas (Du-Las), means slave, or someone so devoted to another that they disregard their own interests. Using these two words, Jesus said if you want to become great, you must have the mind of a servant and the heart of a slave.