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The Christian God is a most extraordinary being.

I state the obvious. Or as the current meme says, “Thank you, Captain Obvious.”

Here’s something extraordinary about Him for us to chew on. Jesus, God Himself who came to the earth in the flesh, is our servant. Let me hasten to add that He is also our Lord, our God, your King, and our Savior, who gives us eternal life and His own righteousness, freely.

Now, some readers may exclaim, “Right. So, I can just tell Jesus to do my bidding. He’ll do whatever I tell Him to do, like a servant would. You are one crazy individual.” Or words to that effect. No, Jesus is a servant in the ways He chooses. Are these two ideas incompatible? To us that seems certain.

Now perhaps the reader may understand one reason why the Christian God is so extraordinary and so perplexing to us. To help us out, the Lord tells us why we will be perplexed:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8–9).1

We don’t think the way He does. He is a servant. He is The Servant.

But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:26b–28).

Jesus says here that His primary example of servanthood for us was to die for us. He did this in His wonderful love because “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

However, did Jesus’ servanthood stop after His cosmos-changing sacrifice and resurrection?

No. After His resurrection, He did this:

When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast” (John 21:9–12a).

Scripture doesn’t tell us how he got the fish or the bread or how He made the fire. Did He say, “Let there be bread, fish, and fire?” Perhaps. But He served His disciples nonetheless. This is God Himself fixing breakfast for His followers.

His servanthood did not stop after His ascension, either. One day, Jesus will serve us dinner:

Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them (Luke 12:37).

Jesus will not do this because we tell Him to. He will do this because He wants to. He will do this because that is His nature. I wonder if at that time we might want to respond as Peter did when Jesus was washing His disciples’ feet: “Peter said to him, ‘You shall never wash my feet’” (John 13:8a). However, keep in mind how He responded to Peter’s objection: “Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no share with me’” (John 13:8b). Interesting thing for Jesus to say, isn’t it? Concerning that word “share,” the Louw-Nida lexicon says, “to experience along with others— ‘to experience together with, to share in experiencing.”2 Servanthood is part of Jesus’ character—and should and will be part of ours as we grow in Him. As we experience His servanthood for us, we share in the knowledge of who He is, always has been and always will be, for eternity, it seems, as difficult as that may be for us to grasp.

 

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

2Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 808). New York: United Bible Societies.

Gif courtesy of giphy.com.

 

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