Two Effects

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 (NKJV)

You’ve probably heard the expression, “The more things change the more they stay the same!” This principle certainly holds true when we look at the first disciples of Jesus. They were simple human beings like the rest of us, and they revealed this as they vied for power and authority over each another. “Promote me in Your kingdom!” was the request that came to Christ as His earthly ministry drew to a close.

But Jesus had a wonderful way of taking that attitude and redirecting it in a way that they desperately needed (as do we). He eclipsed their desire for personal glory with His own example. Jesus pointed to Himself, the pinnacle of authority, and proclaimed His mission to serve others and give His life for them. This is the message of the gospel, and it produces two effects.      
    
First, it’s a powerful reminder. Jesus sets the ceiling on personal ambition here. He, of all who have ever walked the earth, deserved to be served; yet the opposite occurred by Him serving humanity. Our fallen and defiled race didn’t deserve to so much as look at the Holy One, much less be served by Him! And this becomes even more mind boggling when we consider that His service culminated in Him suffering and dying for us! 

Being reminded of this puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? The gospel reframes our selfish agendas as we consider what Jesus selflessly did for us. We suddenly see ourselves in a different light and don’t feel entitled to the applause and praise of other people. Humility displaces ambition, and the only vision of glory we see is the Lord’s.

Second, it’s a powerful motivator. Jesus had long-term plans for His disciples. It was His purpose to use these very men to carry the gospel message to the rest of the world. But He knew this extraordinary task had to be fueled by something extraordinary; and there is nothing as extraordinary as His own example. What He did would serve as sufficient motivation to carry them across the known world with His gospel.

Jesus has the same plan for our lives, and His example holds the same motivating power for us as well. Nothing can move us more to share His message than His having served us as He has. The Lord held nothing back for us, how can we hold back the good news of His forgiveness and salvation?

DIG: What prompted Jesus to point to His own example?

DISCOVER: What two effects does His example provide? 

DO: Pray for a “refresher” of Christ’s example, then share what you’ve been shown.