Summary: Jesus voluntarily humbled Himself to become a servant and we must do the same.
The Bible, our supreme guild for living, has much to say concerning being a servant. God has often empowered those who did not think too highly of themselves. People such as Gideon hiding in the threshing floor, or David tending sheep in the backlot caught God’s attention and were mightily used of Him.
In many of our Pentecostal-Charismatic circles the message of submission and voluntary humility has been replaced by teachings that appeal to our greed and pride. It is good to stress our privileges in Christ, but we must never forget our responsibilities.
Some ministries even go so far as to try and prove that Jesus was rich.
This teaching is often employed in an effort to get people to put up seed money on the assumption that God will give them a guaranteed return on their giving. Teachings such as this may appeal to the vanity of some, but they subvert the gospel. Their message is appealing because it is the sinful nature of man to try and buy the things of God rather than submitting to God’s will. It has often been said that if salvation cost money, there would be many more seekers.
In the "Sermon on the Mount," Jesus detailed our need for total reliance on God and to lose our life in Him. It is only by dying with Christ that we can have hope of resurrection and exaltation. It is a indeed a paradox that we are both sons and servants, but not any more so than Jesus being both Almighty God and a Suffering Servant.
Jesus was exalted because He denied Himself to fulfill God’s will. The only biblical way for us to obtain exaltation is to do likewise.
Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
The Greek and Hebrew words used for "servant" in the bible have several connotations, such as: "to serve, to work, to attend, to minister, and to be a slave. Scripture shows us that Jesus fulfilled every one of these definitions.
Jesus came to serve.
Isaiah 42:1. Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, [in whom] my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
Jesus came to work.
John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
Jesus came to minister.
Matthew 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Jesus came as a slave.
Philippians 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
The centurion who came to Jesus, seeking healing for his servant, gave a very good definition of Lordship,
Matthew 8:9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this [man], Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth [it].
The crux of the gospel is that God declared that we were to love Him as the One Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. Jesus, by His resurrection was declared to be both Lord and Christ. He is coming again as Lord to judge the living and the dead. If I decide to walk any other way than that of submission, I am raising myself up in the place of God; and that is idolatry.
God declares that although He was High and Lofty, He sought to dwell with those of a meek and lowly nature.
Isaiah 57;15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
We are promised that if we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, we will be exalted in due time.
I Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
Jesus, in His human nature, serves as our example of what a servant should be. Prophecy declares Him as a servant who would not be given to strife and debate.