“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.” ⎯ Mark 10:43-44
Jesus wants you to be a slave to everyone in the world.
Not really. Not really at all. But, if you read Mark 10:44 and take it at face value, you might get that impression. So if that’s not exactly what Jesus means, what is He saying?
Jesus is speaking about status. He is speaking about entitlement. He is speaking about how we too often think of ourselves a lot more than we should. In Jesus’ day, slaves had zero social status. What little legal standing they had was more about viewing them as property than it was with viewing them as individuals. Slaves were nobodies. Their “wants” never came before anyone else’s.
Often when Jesus taught, He made it a point to use a rhetorical tool called “hyperbole.” Basically it’s a fancy way of saying that He exaggerated things to make His point. That’s a little bit of what’s going on here. See, you’re extremely valuable to God. You’re no lowly slave. In fact, Jesus wants to wash your feet – but as Ms. Jen said at our meeting last night, you have to humble yourself to let Jesus wash your dirty feet.
And Jesus doesn’t want you to ever be a doormat, or to let people abuse or mistreat you. That’s not it at all. Jesus’ point in saying that we should be like slaves is to strike at our pride, and the way the world says we should pursue greatness.
Jesus wants us to always be looking to put other’s interests first. He wants us to never think too highly of ourselves, or feel like we’re entitled to a position over anyone else. He wants us to have the heart of a servant. He wants you to serve others without regard to what you get in return.
And if you do this, you’ll have a major impact on the world around you, all for the sake of making Jesus known.