When it comes to truly being a servant, nobody can beat Jesus. In the Gospel of John 13:1-17, we read of the time when Jesus was with his disciples in the Upper Room just before the Passover Feast. It says: …Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end…. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him… When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
For followers of Jesus, a servant is someone who observes a need and takes personal responsibility to meet that need as the Holy Spirit leads them. Christian servants are loved by people because they are always encouraging, sensitive to people’s needs, warm, and dependable—that is, they are faithful to doing something even if it costs more than was anticipated. People with a servant’s heart look intentionally for how they can be helpful and add value to others’ lives. When we serve people, we are showing them love. Only those who find their security and confidence in God will feel most comfortable serving others.
When I shared this with our youth group one Thursday afternoon, I emphasized that if we claim to be followers of Jesus, then we must follow his example. And then we went outside and weeded the landscaping at the church. Some of the youth rotated the old books out of the “free little library” by the front doors, re-supplying the box with new books that they picked out for members of the community to enjoy. Still others picked up leaves and branches from the bushes that got trimmed. And yet other youth posed for a photo next to the “Undy 500” trunk to inspire others to contribute new socks and underwear to this worthy community cause.
Servanthood is a matter of the heart, and Jesus had a heart for serving others. The next time you see a need, step up and take responsibility for doing something about it. You’ll be glad you did.
Serving the Lord with you,