Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served,
but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.
I have heard a lot of good quotes in my lifetime, but perhaps the best one I have ever heard is this one from Adrian Rogers: “The servant is not great than his Master.” Maybe that doesn’t sound all that profound to you, but it is. You see, to use another Adrian Rogers quote, “Jesus did not come to show us how God was to live on earth, but to show us how man is to live on earth.” Everything Jesus did during His earthly ministry, He did as an example. And everything He did, He expects us to do also.
Just take the cross for example. Jesus died physically on the cross to save us from our sins. But what does He tell us in Matthew 16:24? “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” That also is a call to death. It is a call to die to oneself for the sake of Christ as He died physically on the cross for our sake. And I think we would all agree that it took selfless courage for Jesus to willingly go to the cross—a dying to Himself, if you will. Therefore, being no greater than the Master, we are called to die to ourselves also.
Now let’s take that principle and apply it to the verse above. Jesus said that He “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Therefore, being no greater than the Master, what does this verse mean to us? It is nothing less than a call to sacrificial service. But I do not believe that this is meant to take place only within the four walls of our churches or during mission work or within nonprofit organizations. I believe, like everything else Jesus said, He meant for this to take place within every area of our lives. Just as Jesus lived every day to serve those around Him, we are to put the same principle to work in our own lives.
So I ask you today, for what purpose are you living your life? Some might tell you that there is joy in serving God and others. Some might tell you that God will bless you for living according to His word, and they would be right. However, I’ll never tell you that. You see, that is what the above verse is all about. It’s about serving others while expecting nothing in return. So today I am asking you a question: knowing that we are no greater than the Master, are you living to serve or be served? You don’t have to answer that audibly because your career will tell. Your marriage will tell. Your family life will tell. Your friendships will tell. How you spend your spare time will tell. Your life will tell. So being no greater than the Master, do you choose to serve?
Maybe you are here today and you have never acknowledged Jesus as Lord of your life. If that is you, I am asking you today to give your heart and your life to Him before it is eternally too late for you. Turn completely from all sin and trust Christ alone to save you. If you will do that, He will save you today and keep you saved forever.