A SERVANT TO ALL
In the Gospel of Luke when Jesus instituted the Last Supper a dispute arose directly afterwards between the disciples as to “which of them would be considered the greatest.” So let us see how Jesus answered them:
Luke 22: 25-27 BSB “So, Jesus declared, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in authority over them call themselves benefactors. But you shall not be like them. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who leads like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines? But I am among you as one who serves”.
There are four “servant songs” recorded in the Book of Isaiah, we will look at one of them to see what the heart of a servant should be. Although the following scripture is a prophecy regarding Jesus, it also points to us and our walk as servants of the Most High so let’s get started in Isaiah 49.
Isaiah 49: 1-6 BSB “Listen to Me, O islands; pay attention, O distant peoples: The LORD called Me from the womb; from the body of My mother, He named Me. He made My mouth like a sharp sword; He hid Me in the shadow of His hand. He made Me like a polished arrow; He hid Me in His quiver. He said to Me, “You are My Servant, Israel, in whom I will display My glory.” But I said, “I have laboured in vain; I have spent My strength in futility and vanity; yet My vindication is with the LORD, and My reward is with My God.” And now says the LORD, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, that Israel might be gathered to Him—for I am honoured in the sight of the LORD, and My God is My strength—He says: “It is not enough for You to be My Servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the protected ones of Israel. I will also make You a light for the nations, to bring My salvation to the ends of the earth.”
- Notice the calling of a “servant” is from the womb when we were being formed. (vs 1 & 5)
- We are called by name. (vs 1)
- Our mouths are to like a sharp sword: we are to speak the word, to speak life. (vs 2)
- An arrow when released flies a straight path at its target (vision)
- We have His protection as He hides us in His quiver and in His hand.
- We are His servants and His glory will be displayed through us.
- As servants we are to bring in the lost and be light in the world.
- God will promote, reward and grant us honour (favour)
- Take special note, in the entire dialogue the focus is on what God desires and not on self.
- It is not in our own ability, but through His strength and Spirit.
The problem is that we get so concerned and so fixated on what our position is, what our title is, or what we have, or what we’re supposed to do, or what we’re supposed to accomplish, or what we’ve done in the past, or we get very, very fixated on what God’s called us to do, and we want everybody to know, “Hey, this is my calling, this is what I’m called to do.”
However, we must recognise and accept that we are ALL called to be servants.
Throughout scriptures we see how great men and women who were called of God were at heart servants, this is what God said of them:
Abraham ( Gen 26:24 ), Jacob ( Gen 32:4 ), Joshua ( Jos 24:29 ), Ruth ( Ru 3:9 ), Hannah ( 1 Sam 1:11 ), Samuel ( 1 Sam 3:9 ), Jesse ( 1 Sam 17:58 ), Uriah the Hittite ( 2 Sam 11:21 ), Joab ( 2 Sam 14:20 ), Isaiah ( Isa 20:3 ), Daniel ( Da 9:17 ), , and Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon ( Jer 25:9 )
In the same way we find many of the New Testament people humbling themselves and calling themselves servants:
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, and set apart for the gospel of God. Rom 1: 1
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons.Phil 1: 1
Jude: “a servant of Jesus Christ.” Jude 1: 1
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,James 1:1
Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,2 Pet 1: 1
In all the above scriptures one thing stands out, and that is that all, including Jesus, considered themselves a servant above their calling. In Philippians 2 we are told:
Philippians 2:1-4 NIV “Therefore, if you have any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being united in spirit and purpose.Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others”
And continues with a reference to Isaiah 52:13–15regarding Jesus:
Who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in human likeness…(Phil 2: 7)
The Hebrew word for servant is “ebed” and means:
- servants, worshippers (of God)
- servant (in special sense as prophets, Levites etc)
- servant (of Israel)
- servant (as form of address between equals)
While in the New Testament various words are used:
- Doulos: is frequently used to designate a master’s slave (one bound to him), but also a follower of Christ (a “bondslave” of Christ). The term points to a relationship of absolute dependence, in which the master and the servant stand on opposite sides the former having a full claim, the latter having a full commitment. The servant can exercise no will or initiative on his or her own.
- Diakonosderives from a verb meaning “to wait at table, ” “to serve.” As the Son of man, Jesus “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matt 20:28; Mark 10:45).
In Isaiah we learn the following in regard to Jesus, who is our example:
Isaiah 42:1NIV “Here is My Servant, whom I uphold, My Chosen One, in whom My soul delights. I will put My Spirit on Him, and He will bring justice to the nations.”
As servants of Christ, we are told:
Micah 6:8 AMP “He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you Except to be just, and to love [and to diligently practice] kindness (compassion), And to walk humbly with your God [setting aside any overblown sense of importance or self-righteousness]?
So let us not forget why we are here and walk in a foundation scripture of RSCFC
1 Corinthians 9:19 NKJV “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more”
Father You are the God who exalts us, therefore we humble ourselves before You and acknowledge that we can do nothing without You. Holy Spirit, Sir help us to lay down self and lead us in the obedience by granting us the heart of a servant. Father this we ask in the name of Jesus. *Amen*
Matt 20:28 NIV “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
Luke 22:14-19 BSB “When the hour had come, Jesus reclined at the table with His apostles. And He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before My suffering. For I tell you that I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”After taking the cup, He gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.”And He took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body, given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you.”