“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)
Several years ago, a young family in our church had expressed the need for some help with a few repair projects at their home. So quite a few of us donned our tools and headed over to provide some help. We had no idea of the magnitude of the problems that awaited us…
From the moment we opened their door, we knew we were in for a day we would never forget. We entered the house and the floor was moving… as a sea of cockroaches scattered everywhere. They covered the floors and walls. They were behind every wall-covering. They filled the cupboards and countertop.
It was like nothing I had ever seen… and hope to never see again (I am not a big fan of bugs, of any kind – but especially roaches!).
Needless to say, the repairs were put on hold until we could reclaim the home.
I tell this story, not to make you ill – but to set the scene for understanding the magnitude of the love of God that was on display when Jesus came to this earth.
When the eternal Son of God came to live and walk among us, it was hardly any different than any of us walking into a roach-infested home. Like roaches compared to us, we are so far inferior to Him, that we hardly deserve anything more than His contempt. But Jesus didn’t come to get rid of us, or to squash us, or to treat as all verminous creatures should be treated.
Jesus came to connect with us. Be with us. Love on us. And serve us.
Creator-God. Almighty Majesty. Eternal Entity enthroned in the glory of the heavens – and He leaves all that to come to “roach-infested” earth.
Jesus came with a mission. And part of that mission was to take all our sin (that which makes for our “roachness”) upon Himself and be tortured to death in our place. While that is often our grateful focus, we also need to realize that this is not the whole reason for why He came.
Think about His words to His disciples. “I did not come to be served, but to serve…”
This is God speaking. God… with us. He actually deserves to be served. It is the most proper thing for us to do, concerning our Maker. We would rightly expect Him to expect our service to Him. He wouldn’t even be wrong to demand it of us.
But this is not why Jesus came and spent time with people. He came (in a very real sense) to put Himself aside… and to serve us. Only a true love can do this.
To truly serve someone we must elevate that person (or persons) above ourselves. Willingly put them in a place above us. Make them more important than ourselves. Make them the recipients of our time, energy, and resources. Even when they are hardly deserving of a single thought, or a second of our time.
Jesus came as the living example of the depth to which the love of God would go. The God of the whole universe… elevating human beings above Himself to impact them with His love. The Master… being the servant.
Showing us, for all of time, that we are not “verminous” to Him. We are the delight of His Heart – and He willingly came and showed us just how much we were His delight… by humbling Himself and serving us.
This is Jesus. The living, breathing demonstration of the Living God — as He really is!