Servant power - 15 April 2021
By Xanthe Hancox
So Jesus called them all together and said, “You know that the rulers of the heathen have power over them, and the leaders have complete authority. This, however, is not the way it shall be among you. If one of you wants to be great, he must be the servant of the rest; and if one of you wants to be first, he must be your slave — like the Son of Man, who did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life to redeem many people.”
The family of Zebedee had a plan. Jesus was gaining a reputation. Word was getting around about his miracles and teachings. The Zebedee brothers, James and John, had been among the first to follow Jesus, and now they wanted to make sure they would have top positions in Jesus’ kingdom. But Jesus was not impressed.
We can spend a lot of energy establishing ourselves, trying to prove our worth, and seeking the best possible benefits and rewards. But Jesus teaches a radically different understanding of greatness and power. True greatness takes on the form of a servant, submitting to the will of God. True greatness in the kingdom of God recognises that our salvation is secure, and our sins are forgiven through Jesus’ death and resurrection. We have done nothing to earn it, and we can’t do anything to deserve it.
True power in the kingdom of God lets go of the need to be noticed and the need to be first. True power seeks first a life of righteousness, healing, and restoration for all. This way of life probably won’t get you noticed. But a life lived doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God (Micah 6:8) has the life-giving power of the gospel.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, may our lives reflect the power, greatness, and love you revealed to us through your life, death, and resurrection. Make us servants of justice and instruments of peace, we pray. Amen