Jesus the Servant
Jesus was a servant. This is a pretty straight forward fact shown to us throughout scripture. Jesus washed His disciples feet. Jesus humbled Himself and became a man. Jesus, most importantly, died on a cross in the ultimate act of service. The Bible is filled with radical, counter-cultural examples of Jesus taking the position of a humble servant, rather than demanding fame or attention that He rightly could have as the king He is.
Jesus’ identity as a servant is radical message. Even though most believers are intellectually familiar with this notion, I think some of us fail to believe and live it out daily. I know I do.
The Temptation to Make Our Own Name Great
We live in a world that tells us to seek out our own glory, to accomplish much for ourselves. To make our own names great. This worldly and sinful mentality often seeps into Christian culture, both at the collegiate level and beyond. I think it’s normal to want to achieve a spiritual legacy—to desire to do big, wild and fearless things in the name of the Lord.
The desire to partner with Jesus in the His ministry of reconciliation is Biblical, certainly, and something we’re called to. But do we sometimes muddle up our desire to serve the Lord by mixing in a dose of desire to accomplish impressive spiritual feats for our own glory?
The Beauty of Smallness
When I was growing up, I often prayed that God would use me to do big things. I boldly declared that I would go wherever He sent me. Then I grew up, I graduated college and he sent me to a 9-5 desk job in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
I serve the Lord now in ways that seem, to my idealistic 10th grade self, rather small. I treat my co-workers with kindness. I respect my supervisor. I spend my free-time befriending middle schoolers who are hurting. I text them about their problems and the boys they think are cute. I move with humility, not because of well-tuned spiritual discipline, but because I have little to boast about as the world would see it. I don’t have a high power job, I’m not traveling to the far ends of the earth.
But Jesus has taught me to see beauty in the “smallness” of my existence—even when it’s hard to—because He sees the beauty in it. He left heaven and He became a man and He washed his friends’ feet and He died because He wanted to serve us. I pray that the Holy Spirit would instill in me that same desire for humility and selflessness. I pray that God would continue to make me small and to make Himself great.
I pray the same for you. Whether you’re a dreamy college student, a high-power executive, a long-term missionary in another country, a long-term missionary with a 9-5 desk job in this country, or some combination of the above. I pray that Jesus would make you small. I pray that Jesus would teach you and me how to be better servants because He told us: “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”
Annie is a recent graduate of the University of Texas, who has since moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition to dealing with Longhorn-haters, she also works at a magazine and drinks at least a pot of coffee a day. Annie loves mentoring women especially, and spends a lot of time thinking about the place of women in the Church.