James and John’s mother wanted the best for her sons, and so do most parents… but she went too far.
The other disciples were “moved with indignation” (anger) at James and John for asking for the second and third places of power. They were ticked off, because they wanted those places for themselves.
He’s explaining the way His kingdom works. The kings of the earth raise their favorites to posts of trust and power; but my kingdom is established in a different manner. The shining stars of God’s kingdom are those who put others first.
Matthew 20:26-28. How do we achieve true greatness? Jesus said “serve others!”
I. The spirit of the servant is serving without being asked.
Jesus often served other people without being asked.
Jesus washed the disciples’ feet without being asked. John 13:1-15
“The room was filled with proud hearts and dirty feet. The disciples were willing to fight for a throne, but not a towel.” (Swindoll, Improving Your Serve, Page 164.)
Praise the Lord, we have many great servants in this church who jump into action whenever there is a need.
They wash dishes and clean up after fellowships.
They are willing to prepare the Lord’s Supper and greet visitors.
They are willing to provide transportation for those who wouldn’t be able to come to church otherwise.
They are willing to visit and do anything that needs to be done.
They are willing to take care of things like cleaning the baptistry.
Some people still haven’t gotten involved. Some think that they don’t have any useful talents. Don’t ever insult God by saying that He cannot use you.
1 Peter 4:10
Some people don’t think that they need to get involved. After all, somebody else can take care of it.
There was an important job to be done, and everybody was sure that somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but in the end nobody did it.
II. The Spirit of the Servant is Serving Without Expectation
Jesus served many people who could not offer him anything in return. John 9:1-6
True servants of God serve without expecting anything in return.
God’s servant does not ask, “What is in it for me?”
He serves because this is what the Master wants Him to do.
The Good Samaritan was a servant without expectation . He helped the beaten man, got him a room, and offered to pay further expenses – and asked for nothing in return.
Many years ago a humble pastor served a church in a little country town. His ministry was quiet, and few souls were brought to christ there. Year in and year out, the work became more and more discouraging. It was only years later that the faithful minister found great joy in the knowledge that one of those he had won to Christ was Charles Haddon Spurgeon, a man who was later used by God to bring multitudes to his Son. Faithful service is rewarded now and certainly will be rewarded even more when Christ returns.
III. The Spirit of the Servant is Serving Without Prejudice
Jesus served and loved people, no matter who they were.
He sat down with a Samaritan woman at a well.
He associated with the despised tax collectors.
We should serve others regardless of their race or color or wealth or education. Evangelism and service should flow to all men.
IV. The Spirit of the Servant is Serving With Humility
Nothing sets a man out of the devil’s reach so much as humility. — Jonathan Edwards
I heard about the pastor who was voted the most humble pastor in America. And the congregation gave him a medal that said, “To the most humble pastor in America.” Then they took it away from him on Sunday because he wore it.
We must not serve like the Pharisees. What they did was always with arrogance. It was from wrong motives. Matthew 6:1-4
In football, they tell the offensive line, no matter how big you are, stay low. So that you can have leverage, stay low. No matter how big you get in life stay low. No matter what title you have in front of your name, how much money you have in the bank, or how many people know who you are, stay low. The moment you use your knowledge, prestige, power, or resources to attempt to be like God, it will be made very clear, very soon, there is only one God. Humble yourself beneath His mighty hand.
Is your service to the Lord with complaining or joy? Are you having to be asked? Is it from a heart of Love or because of obligation? Are you worried about getting credit… Are you feeling sorry for yourself? Are you putting limitations on who or where you serve?