“For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 (Read v. 32-45)
These words of Jesus say so much to us as believers. It is as Jesus told James and John, and all His disciples (v. 35ff.; cf. Matthew 20:20ff.): “Whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all” (v. 43-44).
Jesus came not to be served but to serve, and so also His disciples and especially Christian pastors and ministers. They are called, not to be served by their congregations, but to serve their congregations. Like Jesus, they give up their own lives (their personal goals and ambitions) for the eternal welfare of their fellow believers.
Of course, the same is also true of husbands and wives in marriage. A husband and wife do not enter the covenant of marriage to be served but to meet the needs of their spouse (cf. Ephesians 5:22ff.). It means giving up personal goals and ambitions for the good of the marriage partner and the new family unit.
And, while some may desire positions of preeminence and glory, followers of Christ count it such a blessing to even be admitted to Christ’s kingdom — it’s all God’s gracious gift, neither earned nor deserved — they are happy to be servants that others, too, might come to know and trust in Christ Jesus as Savior.
It would be better to wash dishes in the kingdom of heaven than to be served like a king or queen in the kingdoms of this world. And, if I am granted to be but a dishwasher in heaven’s banquet kitchen, it’s still only by God’s grace and mercy and far more than I deserve – I remain thankful.
Finally, and most important for us all is the fact that Jesus came to serve and give His life a ransom for many. Indeed, He gave His life as a ransom for all, as St. Paul writes: “There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:5-6). Jesus “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14).
If Jesus had come to be served and had not willingly suffered and died on the cross for our sins, where would we be now? Lost forever! Cursed and condemned to hell! But Jesus “redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). Through faith in His name, we have pardon, forgiveness and have a place in His eternal, heavenly kingdom. What a blessing this is!
And, it is precisely because Jesus came to serve and to be a ransom for all that we serve Him and give up our lives in this world that others too might come to know Jesus and what He has done to serve them! God grant that we be served by Jesus and that we then serve others!
We thank you, dearest Jesus, for serving our greatest need and atoning for our sins by going to the cross and dying in our stead. Grant that we also serve others by living to tell of You and Your atoning sacrifice for the sins of all. Amen.
[Scripture quotations taken from the King James Version of the Bible]