The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Dear fellow children of God,
Everything was a mess and there didn’t seem to be any way to fix it. Productivity was failing and the business looked more and more like it was going to fail. A competitor couldn’t wait. New managers were hired with directions from the home office, and it worked for a while but then it reverted back. Finally, they sent someone directly from the home office.
What would you expect that person to do if that was your business? Perhaps start laying down new rules, firing a few people, trying to change the culture? What if the new boss was not the same as the old boss? What if the new boss came in and started working alongside the janitors to make sure the floors were clean and the trash emptied. What then? Would it be unprecedented? Maybe. Would it be puzzling? Absolutely. Some might say he was SENT TO BE THE BOSS. But he believed he was SENT TO SERVE.
Jesus came to be the boss serve us.
What I’m describing is not theoretical. It actually happened, and because it did, you and I are eternally grateful. As you have probably guessed, I’m talking about Jesus.
Jesus was conceived into a royal family that had lost its earthly influence and had been ignored for hundreds of years. He was born not in a palace, but a stable. His mother was attended to not by the royal doctor or midwife but animals and her husband. He was laid not in a golden crib, but a common feeding trough from which animals had probably eaten the day before.
As a child he was subject to his parents. As an adult he was subject to the spiritual authorities like Annas, Caiaphas, and the Sanhedrin. He was subject to political authorities like Herod and Pontius Pilate. During his entire ministry he never really had a place he called home. He exclaimed: “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Matthew 8:20 (NIV)
Although he interacted with the elite of society, people like Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, he spent time with the common people, even the lowest part of society. He was asked: “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Luke 5:30 (NIV)
Jesus was not only the Son of man, he was also the Son of God, so why did he do all this? Because that’s what we needed. We had been kidnapped, and a ransom needed to be paid to set us free. The only way that ransom could be paid was by someone who was a servant. Jesus came to serve us. He came as our Savior, and to do that he had to live this kind of life. He died the death of a criminal because that was what we needed. The success of his service was shown when he rose from the dead to set us free from sin, death, and our subservience to Satan. Jesus didn’t come to be the boss. Jesus came to serve you and me.
We are here to be the boss serve Jesus.
If Jesus, true man and true God, came as a servant, came to serve us, what does that make you? It makes you saved through faith in what he has done with a reserved spot in heaven and assures you that whether you live a few days on this earth or many, many years, Jesus will always be with you.
Dear friends, it also means the goal of life is not to be the boss. The goal in life for us is to be like Jesus. Our goal is to be servants. If Jesus is a servant and was proud to be a servant, how can we say we should be otherwise?
That starts with serving him. We have a ministry here so people can find substantive ways to serve Jesus. We serve him in worship, in praise, and in offerings.
But there is more. The Scriptures tell us: Whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 1 John 4:20 (NIV) The way we show that love most often is by serving others.
This is the goal of Christian Education. Certainly we wish to impart facts and knowledge. But our main reason for Christian Education is to train servants. And the more responsibility we have, the greater the service we render to others.
Our Lutheran Elementary School is the most visible. We have faithful, professional teachers who are committed to being just like Jesus…servants, serving our children and serving you.
But this isn’t just the job of our teachers. It’s why we are all here. It’s why we have Sunday School. It’s Bible Classes, Super Saturday. We want people to know Jesus came here to serve them. And when they know Jesus, they know he wants them also be servants.
That’s our purpose on earth, to be servants in God’s kingdom. We are here to be Elijah and Isaiah, Nathan and the prophets. We are here to be Peter, James, and John, not only by what we know, but by what we do. We are here to serve each other. We are also here for those who are not presently in the household of God, still spiritual orphans running wild in the streets thinking they are free when all they have to look forward to is certain death.
Jesus is the boss, but he didn’t come to be the boss. He came to serve you and me. Being a believer in Jesus means being like Jesus, being a servant. That is straight from the home office. Amen.