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“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” ~ Mark 10:43-45
If you were to read the above scripture in some Bibles, it would be red-lettered indicating that Jesus spoke the words. Since Jesus spoke the words, I am going to say they are probably as true for us today as for the world he was encountering during his time on earth.
The words were quite revolutionary then and still so today. The natural expectations of society are turned upside down with leadership being characterized as service to others instead of being served. Of course we serve those who are above us….or those who can do things for us, but the true test is whether or not we willingly serve those who are “beneath us.” Please don’t think I am using the term “beneath” disparagingly. I am using it to describe rank or position, not the quality of person….for God created each one of us with a specific purpose and role that we are to fulfill.
The passage reiterates the same message that had previously been expressed in the conversations Jesus had with his disciples. But, with one addition! Jesus adds the word “slave.” He says that to be great we must become slaves.
Think for a minute about what a slave is. Slaves do not have an option to serve others, it is a requirement – no picking and choosing there. A slave is subject to another individual, slaves really do not have choices about anything. Jesus says that if we want to be first (in charge, the lead, etc), then we must actually become a slave.