“If servanthood lies at the heart of Jesus’ posture toward us, it must never be beneath his sons and daughters.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 29, 2023
Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Matthew 24:45-46, ESV
Though we often like to cast ourselves as the stars of the story called “our lives,” it is essential that we remember whose story we are in and what role we play in that grand narrative. Time and time again, Jesus reminds us that we are meant to be servants to the good and just king. In the mystery of God’s goodness, we are also called children (Romans 8:16) and friends (John 15:15) of God, which certainly shapes and informs the nature of our servanthood, but we must never take these elevated identities in isolation from the underlying invitation into a life of service.
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. (John 13:12-14, ESV)
If servanthood lies at the heart of Jesus’ posture toward us, it must never be beneath his sons and daughters.
In fact, it is meant to be a defining reality of our lives from which we never waiver. Resist the temptation to fragment and isolate your acts of kindness or mercy to another. Instead, as we see in Matthew 24, the blessed servant is the one who not only serves and works at the appointed and publicly seen times, but is just as faithful in the mundane and unnoticed work of servanthood. As Jesus notes, it isn’t the servant who is blessed “who faithfully serves at the hour he knows his master will arrive.” No, it is the servant whom the master finds.
If Jesus were to pay you an unannounced visit at this very moment, would you be blessed by his presence? Would it be easy for him to see your wisdom and faithfulness to him and his kingdom on display through your deeds, as well as your management of time and material goods? Or, would you quickly scramble to hide the signs of self-indulgence and apathy, trying to quickly make yourself look busy and productive?
These questions are not meant to shame you or me. “Shame” is never a tool to be found in our Lord’s toolbox. And yet, wisdom invites us into honest and vulnerable reflection upon difficult questions such as these, not to discourage us, but to call us forth into bold repentance and even bolder service.
Father, teach us what it means to serve you with all we have, and may you find us faithful when you draw near, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
How can you cultivate a habit of serving daily in ways that are unseen and known only to you?
Shane & Shane: Hearts of Servants
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