June 29

Text: Matthew 20:28

“. . .  just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." (NASB)

“Show me—you do it!”  To me, the incredible nature of Jesus is not seen in his power, but in his example.  It was far more than what he could do; it was what he was.  Sure, he did incredible things—caused the blind to see, the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, the speechless to talk, the dead to live again, healed diseases, cared for mental disorders, and ended the horrible conditions of spiritual forces. 

However, he was what he asked others to be.  He lived a day-to-day existence that did not worry about tomorrow.  He focused on the deprived.  He never charged for acts of compassion and never profited from people’s misery.  He did not measure his significance in position, money, or possessions.   He served.  True, he died unjustly.  That is a marvel.  Yet, the fact he died unjustly must be united with his behavior in death.  He behaved righteously even in the terrible injustices of his death.

He was to be Lord over all in God’s kingdom.  His significance was beyond the explanations of any human language.  He knew what he was to become upon resurrection.  Yet, he did not seek authority and the life it offered; he did not seek position; he did not demand control.  He served others often in demeaning and undesirable ways.  In no way would this world’s royalty consider him royal!

Jesus’ expectations for us could be stated in this way: “Being my follower is about what you are, not just about what you do.  You do because you are.”  He did not come to be a commander who strutted about telling others what to do.  He came to serve fundamental human needs that could only be met by God.

It is in what he was in his human existence that gives us a glimpse of our human potential when God made us.  That glimpse reveals the enormous ruin we brought upon God’s intent.  It screams, “Evil and God’s intent for us do not mix!”

Their concept of ransom and ours differ in some striking ways.  Let’s just say he came to free us.

Suggestion for reflection: Do you allow Jesus to be an example?  (Read 2 Corinthians 8:9; Ephesians 4:31, 32.)

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