Serving is at the heart of Jesus’ ministry. A disciple’s goal is to do as the teacher does. Making the connection between Jesus feeding 5,000 and setting up food pantries and soup kitchens is easy. Connecting serving with Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman, his taking time for children, or his comforting of friends Martha and Mary moves us beyond projects and charitable activities to relationships.
READ Matthew 20:20–28.
Jesus was a walking example of committing one’s life to serving God’s people. Even so, his disciples, James and John, and their mother, Mrs. Zebedee, missed the point. It wasn’t about positions of leadership, notoriety, and power; not a single one of these is more important than caring for others. You are a disciple when you do what you thought you would never do. Jesus calls us to think differently about how and why we serve others—not merely “doing for” or picking and choosing who gets our attention and when. Serving as Jesus serves brings us closer to Jesus, the one who did not come to be served but to serve.
This message was adapted from the “Lessons for Today’s Disciples” resource written by Valora K Starr and available as a free downloadable PDF in both English and Spanish at womenoftheelca.org.