The Attitude Of A Servant
The first mention of “servant” in scripture is in Genesis 9:25 where Noah pronounces a curse on his grandson Canaan, the son of Ham who “…saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside.” (9:22) This was the direct result of Ham’s sin against his father and then telling it to his brothers whose response was not follow Ham’s sin but chose rather to cover their Father’s nakedness walking backwards into his tent so as not to look at him in that state. So, Canaan and his descendants are cursed for the act of Ham his father.
Later in Genesis 18:3 “servant” is used in a completely different context. Abram refers to himself as the servant of the Lord because he is now in covenant relationship with Him and has received the promise of God and believes that he indeed will be the Father of a great nation.
In Genesis 24:2 “servant” is mentioned in reference to a trusted ruler (steward/administrative head) over all the property and resources that Abram possessed.
Throughout the Old Testament reference is made to anyone under the authority of the king or the master of a house or the authority of the chief steward was his servant. All the people of Israel were servants of the Lord. All those in Abraham’s employment were his servants, and all those that served under Abraham’s steward were the servants of the steward also (servants of a servant).
Now in the New Testament Jesus turns this idea on its head. He places a high calling and honor on servanthood taken on willfully.
“Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.” Matthew. 20:26
Moreover, of Himself He Said:
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
But then, when He is about to complete His time on earth with the disciples before He is crucified He says of them:
“No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15
This is also echoed in Galatians 3.
“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians. 3:26-29
Now because we are Christ’s and heirs of God according to the blessings conferred upon Abraham’s seed, we get to willfully choose the higher calling in Jesus to be the servants of all.
As ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ we are servants of the Lord and our calling, indeed our responsibility as servants is to share the Gospel with all in a manner not characterized by strife or debate but by gentleness, patience and a readiness (the result of faithful study of the Word, a life of prayerful obedience and faith in God, believing what He has said) teach and instruct in a spirit of meekness, those that oppose themselves so that they will have the opportunity to be saved.
“And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” 2 Timothy 2:24
We are not subject to a servanthood resulting from a curse or the domination of those who would Lord over us with demands from their positions of superiority and our unworthiness. We are servants because we are the sons of the Most High God and we follow in the way of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We do not serve to please men but we serve to please our Father, God.
“Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. Ephesians 6:5-8
Christ-like servanthood is not a religious show for the sake of men’s approval, but a joyful, passionate, enthusiastic serving of the will and purposes of God from the heart with all zeal in everything we do and particularly in our worship.
The woman with the Alabaster Box, who did not considerate it a waste to anoint Jesus with the costly perfume, the widow with her mite who did not consider her offering too small or withheld it for fear that it was all she had, the good Samaritan, who was not to busy to share his resources with a stranger in distress and tend his wounds beyond a momentary handout, the lad with five loaves and two fish who willingly gave them to Jesus to help feed the 5000, even Zacchaeus, not only who retuned what he had stolen but gave up half his wealth to respond to the love of Jesus, are all servants of the Most High God.
We who are called by the name of the Lord, Jesus calls us His friends. Are you also, like Him, joyfully, passionately and enthusiastically serving the will and purposes of God from the heart with all zeal in everything you do and particularly in your worship?