Be a Servant

A dispute also arose among them as to which one of them was to be regarded as the greatest. But he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.

“You are those who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer on you, just as my Father has conferred on me, a kingdom, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

“Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” And he said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death!” Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you have denied three times that you know me.”

He said to them, “When I sent you out without a purse, bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “No, not a thing.” He said to them, “But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me, ‘And he was counted among the lawless’; and indeed what is written about me is being fulfilled.” They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” He replied, “It is enough.”

Luke 22: 24-38

Jesus was unique among men because He had power, but He used it to become a servant. Instead of amassing wealth, or land, or authority, or more power, or any of the other things people with power usually want, He used His power to give to others. He didn’t create a feast for Himself and  His disciples, but He fed four thousand hungry  people. He didn’t use His massive following to set Himself up as high priest of king, but He taught the people following Him how to become closer to God.

We are also called to serve. We are called to put the  needs of others before our own wants. To not think about our own worth, but  to worry about others instead. Besides, there’s not much point in imagining ourselves great people. Even Peter denied Jesus three times. We are all sinners, and none of us should hold delusions of grandeur. We deserve nothing. But we have everything to give. And we can feel a little good about ourselves when we realize that as long as we stick with Jesus, all of our failures will be overlooked. We might be sinners, but one day in Heaven we will be kings.

Jesus gave Peter some advice here that I’ve never noticed before, probably because I was so caught up in the prediction of his denial. He tells Peter that once he turns back he should strengthen his brothers. When a person overcomes fear, doubt, and the shame of denying God, they come back stronger, wiser, and more experienced. They should use that strength to help their fellow Christians overcome the same obstacles, no keep it all to themselves. I know I would really appreciate some encouragement and wisdom from somebody who has gotten past the things I’m going through now. Knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that God does have a plan for me would make it so much easier to bear. And I know that all of that is in the Bible, but there’s something different about hearing it from an actual human being rather than a book that was written almost two thousand years ago.

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