Portraits of Christ | Servant
Here is my Servant whom I have chosen. (Matthew 12:18)
In this title for Christ, we see one of the most wonderful expressions of the love of God. That he would cast off his infinite majesty and splendor, and encase himself in a vessel of flesh with our limitations, our poverty, our suffering testifies to his unspeakable love for mankind. He who is a King became a Servant. The one who should be served instead came to serve. The apostle Paul writes, "He made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross." (Philippians 2:7-8).
When the mother of James and John came to Jesus asking that they be given positions of honor and power in his kingdom, Jesus told them, "Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave - just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:26-27).
Jesus at his last Passover meal before his death, chose to teach his disciples one more lesson. With towel in hand and a basin filled with water, He went around the room and washed the caked dust of Judea off their feet. Peter. James. John. Judas. It was a filthy job, and the job of a servant. If the King of Heaven can kneel before a poor man and wash the dirt from his smelly feet, then our calling is clear. Be a servant.
"If I then, your Lord and Master," Jesus stated, "have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you." (John 13:14-15).
The way of a servant is a way of sacrifice, and the way of pain. If someone strikes you, turn the other cheek. If someone asks you to walk with them a mile, walk with them two miles instead. If someone asks for your cloak, give it to them, and your coat too. If someone gossips about you or persecutes you, bless them and pray for them.
Not easy is it?
To be great upon the earth means you have much authority and power, that you have servants, that you command respect, that you have the finest your wealth can obtain. But to be the greatest in Heaven means you kneel before the lowest of men. Let it be said that the greatest battle you will ever face is the one of surrender.
And what of Peter? Peter boasted to Jesus, "You will not wash my feet!" But Jesus responded, "If I do not wash your feet, then you have no part with me." You see, we often love to help others and enjoy the great feeling it gives. But we do not like it when we are the ones in need. We have our pride and we want to make it on our own. But part of being a servant not only involves washing the feet of others, but in turn letting them wash our feet when we need it.