To Serve Is Divine

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”  Mark 10:45


As I wiped urine off the floor AGAIN, I muttered angrily to myself and anyone else in earshot.  I could see the appeal of paying someone else to handle those kinds of things!  What honor is there in the seemingly thankless calling of staying at home?  After almost 8 years of caring for my children at home, cleaning up their mess has become so old.  It’s not cleaning up after the assortment of their incidents and accidents that’s the problem; life happens.  It’s them repeating the same mess at the most inopportune times!  With all I do every day I just wish they’d cut me some slack and learn from their mistakes faster (silly me, right).  Well, memories of a televised sermon I watched in the wee hours that morning quickly interrupted my rant.

In Mark 10:45 Jesus provided the thematic summary of Mark’s gospel account: He came to serve, not to be served.  Jesus in all His divine splendor and awesome glory due Him as King of Kings came to serve!  What a radically different perspective from earthly kings and commoners alike, including church folk.  Today people want to be handsomely compensated for anything we do and oh yeah a little adoration for it would be great too!

With His heavenly viewfinder (remember those) the Holy Spirit clicked a series of images through my mind: Jesus teaching Mary at His feet; Jesus “watering” the woman at the well; Jesus healing the sick and multiplying a meal; Jesus at the cross taking all my sin, it’s side effects and judgment on Himself at the cross all without complaining or demanding anything in return.  He served any and every one who pulled on Him.  The Holy Spirit merely pointed out I’ve been serving from a sincere but empty place, leaving me frustrated.

Serving abundantly without having been served abundantly only depletes.   I’ve been more conscious of what I and others demand/expect of me than of Jesus’ supply.  I’d gotten to the point where I managed the household under the guise that “if I don’t do it, it won’t get done”. In many ways that’s true but the issue is whether all those things are necessary.  Jesus made it clear that with all Martha’s running around she overlooked the one necessary thing: sitting at His feet and receiving from Him.  As I do the same, the Holy Spirit will lead me in ordering the rest of my day.  Then I’ll go about the day in the grace supplied.  As I listened, the tears started flowing.  I was so grateful the Holy Spirit shared that with me and without condemning me for complaining or serving in my flesh.  Jesus already took my punishment for that!

Jesus came to clean me up because I could never clean my own mess.  Not to mention, I can’t keep myself clean either.  Even now He continually washes me with His blood and provides me with anointed teaching and preaching that washes me with the water of His Word.   He knows I’ll be imperfect until He returns and He knows that it takes time both in and hearing the Word for me to be transformed.  He even gives me the desire along with the ability to do what pleases the Father.  He’s cool with doing it too.  He finds no shame in serving me because He knows how much I need Him.  My trying to keep myself tidy so I inconvenience Him less is a joke!

He came to be used by desperate humanity and it’s because of His service both on earth and now at the Father’s right hand that I and countless others magnify and glorify His name.   So if I really want to appreciate Him I’ll be still in His presence letting Him minister to me.  As I do I’ll develop His servant’s heart; serving joyfully and effortlessly by His grace and for His glory.


SOUL FOOD (Scripture References)


Luke 10:39-42

Matthew 6:11

2 Corinthians 5:21

1 John 1:7

Ephesians 5:26

Romans 10:17, NIV

Romans 12:2

Philippians 2:13

Romans 8:34

2 Corinthians 3:18


© Vanessa A. Harris and The Legacy of Faith, 2012.