To Be Great, Be a Servant
“…but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave; even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve.” (Matthew 20:26-28)
Today, Jesus teaches us that the shortest key to greatness is service. If respect begets respect, then service begets promotion. One who cannot serve cannot also lead. As Jesus said to the mother of James and John, one who cannot drink the cup (of suffering, service, sacrifice) cannot sit at the right and left of Jesus.
If you ever find yourself in a position of service, consider it a privilege, an opportunity to improve yourself, to learn and to grow. Serving others helps you to understand people, it makes you discover your talents and acquire new skills. To the world, it may appear as though you are simply slaving for the benefit of others but in truth, service rendered with a cheerful heart makes you a star.
Take it from me, if Joseph had not been a slave, there was no way he would have functioned well as a Prime Minister. God knew what he wanted to make of Joseph so He arranged for Joseph to begin from ground zero. Life’s greatest lessons are not taught in the comfort of our classroom desks but in tears, sweat and blood. No wonder Denzel Washington said: “Ease is a greater threat to progress than adversity.”
As we see in our first reading today, it wasn’t easy for Jeremiah. People were plotting to kill him because he would always speak the truth. Indeed, it wasn’t easy for any of the prophets neither was it easy for Jesus who: “emptied himself, taking the form of a servant…. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” (Philippians 2:5-11).
Dear friends, there is more honour in being a servant than in being served by others. Do not think you are doing your children a favour when you employ housemaids and houseboys to do all the work in the house while your kids simply eat, sleep and play? In truth, you may just be deforming your children.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, teach me to find joy in being a servant. Amen.
Bible Study: Jeremiah 18:18-20, Psalm 31 and Matthew 20:17-28).