“God wants the best for you!” “Do not be content with anything less than first place!” “You are a child of the King, so you deserve the preeminent place.” “You were born to be successful!” This kind of message is centered in our deepest desires. We all want the best. We all want to be successful, We all want first place. And this explains why many churches which promote this message are growing. People go there because they want to hear this kind of message.
When we read the Gospels without twisting and misinterpreting them, we find a totally different message. Jesus taught His disciples that a believer should not look for first place or to be served. A disciple should be a servant. This is the text where we find this, “Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Mark 9:35.”
When Paul wrote to the Philippians he asked them to have the same attitude that Jesus had. Some people would stop right there and say: “This is what we are talking about. We need to be God!” That could not be more wrong. This is what Paul wrote: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross! Philippians 2:5.”
For Jesus and His disciples, “we” were not the first. Our neighbors are the first. Our brothers and sisters are the first. We come after them. Unfortunately our priorities are reversed. The attitude not only in our culture, but also in our churches is that God wants us to have everything right now. Jesus could claim the first place, the best place, but He decided not to do that. He decided to be the last one and to sacrifice Himself so you and I could experience the life that God has for us. This same attitude is expected of every disciple.
Following Jesus means that we will make a decision to be a servant instead of lord, or should I say prince or princess. We will serve Him and serve our neighbor. We will look for opportunities to help and be useful in this self-centered world. If we cannot find those opportunities we will create them. This means that we will not sit and wait for opportunity to knock at our door. We will take the initiative and find those ways to put the other in front of us and serve those around us. We will move to the end of the line and let others take the first place.
This is what every disciple of Christ should do.
Have a blessed week,