Serves You Right
“Well, you deserved that. That serves you right.”
Have you been told that? I’m glad Jesus didn’t come to “serve me right,” and serve me with what I really deserve. “The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10:45). He came to serve you and the point is this; serving people will not cause you to serve God, but serving God will cause you to serve people. Loving people will not cause you to love God, but loving God will cause you to love people.
On the last night of Jesus’ life before He walked the road to Calvary, He made a point to teach you one last lesson in service. He used His final hours to remind the disciples and to remind you that a powerful ministry begins and ends on your knees.
The God of the universe began with the end in mind and His earthly ministry was no different. He lowered Himself to the ground and filled a basin to wash the disciples’ feet and said, “Because I’ve done this to you, so you should do this to one another” (John 13:14). He knelt to wash the feet of His followers and in reality, there was no other way. Washing feet can only be done from your knees. Take a moment to visualize Jesus reaching for the foot of Peter, as they both stand erect, Peter hopping this way and that; Jesus trying to keep His grip on Peter to wash his feet. It doesn’t work. Washing feet can only be done from your knees, and your ministry starts and ends the same way.
That night, Jesus and His disciples left to the Mount of Olives as Jesus was accustomed (Luke 22) and they made their way to the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus invested His final hours showing you how to serve. In the beginning of the book it all began in the garden with Adam, who was created in the image of God. Adam lived and walked in the garden; he named every creature. Adam walked with God in the cool of the day, and they had a relationship that was truly unique. God had an intentional relationship with Adam that began in the garden and Jesus spent His last night on Earth being intentional.
God always starts with the end in mind, and it all ended in the garden with Jesus. It ended with the deity of God robed in flesh, modeling the example of relationship God so desperately desires to have with you. Jesus came to this Earth not to be served, but to serve (Mark 10:45), and He used His last hours on Earth to teach you exactly how you should serve. He served from the garden and He served from His knees. He came to serve. His ministry began with service and it ended with service. Why should yours be any different?
Jesus asked Peter a very direct question, “Do you love me?” and Peter replied, “You know I love you, you know all things.” Jesus responded, “If you love me, feed my lambs.”
If you love Me, serve my lambs. He didn’t say, “If you feed my lambs, if you serve my lambs, you will love me.” He said, “If you love me, feed my lambs.”
Jesus told the disciples, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” He didn’t say, “Keep my commandments and you will love me.” He said it more like, “If you love Me, then you will serve me and you will keep my commandments.”
Your ministry, Just like Jesus’, begins with the end in mind. Ministry begins and ends with service. He Himself came to serve and not to be served (Matthew 20:28) and the path to ministry is the same for you. That’s how it begins. How does it end?
“Well done thou good and faithful—servant” (Matthew 25:21).
Why do I Serve?
1. It’s a commandment (I Samuel 12:24)
2. It’s a blessing (Proverbs 11:25)
3. It’s a ministry (I Corinthians 9:19)
How do I Serve?
1. Just pay attention
2. Just say yes
3. Just show up
You’ll miss a lot of opportunities in ministry and in life if you’re distracted, so pay attention and be on the look out for little ways you can serve. Just say yes to the small opportunities and don’t forget to show up. You can say yes every day, but it does no good if you don’t show up. Be a good and faithful servant; there’s no such thing as a good and flaky servant.
Whom do I serve?
Jesus said, “If you love me, feed my lambs,” Don’t forget that serving in the small things means serving God in a big way (Matthew 25:40).
Kevin Dietmeyer is a graduate of Christian Life College and the student pastor of Iglesia La Roca in Hollywood, Florida. He is passionate about connecting young adults with God and to their individual call to ministry.