Monday, July 23, 2007

Servant of All?

I bought a book several years ago that I still have yet to read all the way through; the title was captivating, however:

Descending Into Greatness

I remember mentioning the title in one of my bible college classes, and a couple of guys popped off and laughingly said, "How do you descend into greatness?" It is, indeed, a mindset that many men---of all ages---are completely unfamiliar with. Jesus, however, upon hearing the disciples argue amongst themselves about who would be the greatest, told them quite simply, "Whosoever would be the greatest shall be servant of all."

The idea of servanthood is so foreign to us all.

Here, I believe, though, is the root of the problem: We have no problem serving Jesus; we have no problem submitting to His authority and lordship, and recognizing His place in the Kingdom. The disciples did not argue with Him about who would be the greatest in the kingdom; they argued amongst themselves. They recognized Him as the ringleader, the Boss, the one who set the pace (yet still didn't fully recognize Who He really was), but they had little regard for one another in the kingdom.

We have no problem recognizing our place in the Kingdom in relation to Christ. Our problem is recognizing our place in relation to others who are involved in the kingdom, whom we consider our peers, or even our subordinates, our lesser brethren.

"Servant of all"...

I believe this is a large part of the dying process, the crucifying of self so that others might take preeminence among us.

"...submitting yourselves one to another..."

" honor preferring one another..."

" subject one to another..."

" lowliness of mind, let each esteem other better than themselves..."

I have no problem saying, "Not my will, but thine, Lord..." but it might not be so easy to say that to my neighboring pastor. It might not come so easily off my tongue on the floor of a conference business session, when I'm convinced I'm right, and my brother is the one responsible for disunity, and not me.

"Servant of all..."

Hard words, indeed, to swallow.

Much could be written about this short little phrase, but it speaks volumes in and of itself. And if we would see Jesus in our midst, we must learn to live by this standard.

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