For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
In Japan, service is a cultural constant. When you walk into a business, you are greeted with a loud welcome from any employee close by and thanked when you leave. When you pull out of a business parking lot onto a busy street, the suited salesmen might step out into the street to stop traffic for you. If you look in your rear view mirror as you drive away, you will see him bowing to you and to the cars he stopped. There is a form of language that is used to indicate you are serving someone, and servers even use a certain ingratiating tone of voice. And it all works to keep people in their place. To show submission as much as to show respect. So this verse resonates in Japan as it should everywhere. The emperor goes down on his knees to talk softly with tsunami refugees and it is listed as one of the top news stories of the year. I cried when I saw it. How much more awe inspiring and wondrous it is to think of Jesus taking the servant role in our lives!
~Brian Vander Haak