“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” — Mark 10:45
It takes incredible skill and talent to be a professional tennis player: agility, stamina, mental toughness and hand-eye coordination, just to name a few. And perhaps no skill is more important for being a successful tennis player than the skill of serving well.
Some of the best players in the history of the sport were renowned for their serving ability. Even if it’s not an ace, a well-placed serve will at least put an opponent on his or her back foot, allowing the one who served to be aggressive and control the point.
The same is true in the Christian life. Jesus told the 12 disciples in Mark 10:43-44, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.”
Jesus was explaining that greatness in the Kingdom of God doesn’t come about by seeking to subject others to your own authority. That’s how the world works, but the Kingdom of God is radically different. Just like in tennis, greatness in His Kingdom is built upon serving.
The catch comes in verse 45, however. Jesus, through His death on the cross, endured the penalty for the sins of His people. Then through His resurrection, He conquered sin and death, raising His people up so they can enjoy perfect communion with their Heavenly Father as they live in bliss for all eternity.
What Jesus accomplished on behalf of His people was by far the greatest act of service the universe has ever and will ever see, and He did it for you, if you are in Christ. Jesus is the greatest, most preeminent Being, after all — God Himself.
This Gospel, the Good News, frees you to serve others sacrificially too. But you shouldn’t serve in order to try to gain the status of “greatness.” You serve because Jesus, as the Great One Himself, has made you great, so your desire to serve those He loves will grow.
You’ve been called to it. You’ve been enabled to do it. Now get out there and serve in a manner worthy of the greatness of God!
— Kevin Mercer
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