“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 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: 43-45 NIV
Serving is not natural for humans. We prefer to be preferred. We are born as helpless beings that need constant attention and care. Parents meet all our needs, photograph us more than presidents, and come running anytime they hear but a whimper. As we grow older, most of us believe we are the center of the universe and everyone else is paying rent.
It was no different with the 12 disciples. They were always clamoring for status and position. They wanted the choice seats at dinner, and to stand right next to Jesus as the crowds cheered him. Mark records the above conversation and with three verses, Jesus shatters the paradigms that had become cemented in their thinking.
Notice they were not scolded for wanting to be great or desiring to be first. In other conversations, Jesus encouraged them to lay up treasure in heaven and to do good works. The disciples, like many of us today, were focused on what they could get from God and others and not what they could do for God and others.
This is completely counter-cultural because society tells us to get ahead at all costs and to promote ourselves at every opportunity. Instead, we are expected to do good things for people we may not like and expect nothing in return until we get to heaven. The problem is heaven seems so distant and we want instant returns on our investment. This is why most people talk about serving but never become servants.
I have met true servants and I want to be one someday. Right now, I wrestle with selfishness, ego, narcissism, and an addiction to comfort. However, I am allowing the Holy Spirit to change my heart and I invite you on the journey with me. Servants can change the world but there are so few of them right now.