“EVEN the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
In exploring this Advent verse, we start by getting some context and, looking back a few verses, we find the account of Jesus telling His disciples how He will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes and how He will be condemned to death, delivered to the Gentiles, mocked, spit upon, scourged, killed, and then rise from the dead.
What do His wondrous disciples do with that information?
Two of them ask for executive positions and then the rest of them get into a hissy fit over their positional status.
As I thought that situation over, what strangely came to my mind was the picture of a woman telling her husband that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer that morning and all he says is, “What’s for supper?”
The point Jesus was making to His disciples here (and to us) is PURPOSE in life. That is to SERVE, not BE served.
That’s what Christmas is all about and, if EVEN the Son of Man, the Messiah, the GOD-man, Jesus the Christ, did not come to BE served but to serve others, then surely that is OUR calling and purpose in life.
The text uses a special Greek word here for “to be served.” It’s Diakoneo and literally means “to serve, wait upon, with emphasis on the work to be done and NOT the relationship between lord and servant,” a service that “brings advantage to others.”
Oh, and there’s one more requirement. “Give your LIFE as a ransom for many.”
This is a concept that only those in the military fully understand.
Husbands are called upon to lay down their lives for their wives and there are other instances in Scripture which talks about laying down one’s life for others.
Interestingly, the Greek word here for ransom speaks of “a price paid for redeeming captives, loosing them from their bonds and setting them at liberty.”
Hopefully, we are not ever called upon to give up our lives in death but, that being the case, we SHOULD be willing at the very least to use our lives to serve others and count others as more important than ourselves. What better gift could you receive? What better gift could you give?