Mark 10:35,37,42-45 – Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. "Teacher," they said, "we want you do for us whatever we ask. Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory." Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 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."

These words were spoken by the Son of God on a day when his disciples needed a proper perspective on servanthood. James and John ask Jesus if they might sit on either side of him in heaven, one at his right side, the other at his left. The other disciples are justifiably indignant at this request until Jesus points out that these places belong to those for whom they have been prepared, and that while the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over those under them, such behaviour is not befitting one who follows Christ. "Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant." Jesus challenged society's norms almost 2000 years ago, and still does today. It's no surprise to me that when I need help, it's fellow Christians who are the first to offer their time, their skills, their knowledge. To Jesus, greatness comes from serving — giving of oneself to help God and others. Service keeps us aware of others' needs, and it stops us from focusing only on ourselves. Jesus came as a servant.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, Help me to serve as you did, tirelessly and unselfishly. Keep me humble in Your service that I might reflect your glory and not my own. Remind me that co-operation and collaboration are far more important than self-promotion. You have placed me in this job for a reason, and it may not be that I receive the next promotion, if ever. Guide me to do the best I can for you wherever and whenever I serve. Amen.

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About the author:

Sandra Barbeau
Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada

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