December 5, 2021 Service
Advent Week 2: Love
The Servant Savior
  • The Servant Savior

    Continuing on the themes for Christ’s Birthday Observance 2021, today, this Second Sunday of Advent, we are on the theme of the Servant Savior: For it is love that brought the Savior from God’s heart to our world, and it is love that led Jesus Christ to serve us with his own sacrifice for our salvation.
    Our story begins with an interesting event among the disciples of Jesus.
    Now, so far in the 10th chapter of Mark, Jesus dealt with a question of divorce, where he set a higher standard for his disciples, based on Genesis 2, than the Jewish population around him practiced.
    Then there is an event where Jesus welcomes the children and blessed them.
    After that, there was this spiritually-sensitive young man who had everything he wanted, but really wanted an eternal future with God. He wasn’t sure he wanted to pay the price for that.
    Jesus cautioned his disciples to trust in God and not in their possessions. Peter chimed in that they had already given up everything to follow Jesus, and Jesus encouraged them with a promise of greater things. Yet he added a caveat: what you think about how things work is really upside down.
    While they were on the way to Jerusalem, Jesus told his closest disciples that in Jerusalem, Jesus would be arrested, condemned, and killed. But in three days he would rise from death.
    But it is clear that they weren’t really listening to what Jesus was trying to tell them, because
    >>>that’s when a couple of brothers told Jesus they were...

    Wanting to Share Some of His Authority

    as if what Jesus had just said about his own arrest, trial, beatings and death were somehow not important.
    They, too, were looking for a kingdom, but not the spiritual kingdom of heaven. They were looking for a political kingdom on earth.
    Mark 10:35–37 CSB
    35 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached him and said, “Teacher, we want you to do whatever we ask you.” 36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked them. 37 They answered him, “Allow us to sit at your right and at your left in your glory.”
    James and John didn’t know the absurdity of their request, and they had somehow missed the gist of Jesus’ kingdom strategy altogether.
    They heard what they wanted to hear rather than what He really said. Are we ever guilty of the same? They were down with the idea of following a conquering king, but walking in the footsteps of a suffering servant? I’m not sure they ever really got it until they saw Jesus post-Resurrection.
    He had told them before about the essence of the Kingdom of God and His mission. And he had just told them again. But still, somehow, they missed what Jesus had said about his own sacrifice and besides, they were...

    Probably Wrong About Qualifications

    to share the kind of authority that Jesus has and would have. This was no eastern potentate or even western royalty.
    >>>So,
    Mark 10:38–40 CSB
    38 Jesus said to them, “You don’t know what you’re asking. Are you able to drink the cup I drink or to be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” 39 “We are able,” they told him. Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink, and you will be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with. 40 But to sit at my right or left is not mine to give; instead, it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”
    The two sons of Zebedee were pretty sure of themselves, weren’t they?
    Jesus said “You don’t know what you are asking.”
    But somehow the disciples missed that point. So Jesus Challenged them:
    Are you able??
    Able to taste the bitter cup of sin’s consequences and the fiery baptism of hell’s efforts to remove hope from the world once more.
    Besides, Jesus told them, not even he had that kind of authority in the presence of God the Father Almighty.
    Well, it seems the other 10 disciples were having the same disconnect between what Jesus had been saying and their own ideas about kingdom authority.
    They were still. . .

    Thinking Too Much Like Power Brokers

    Mark 10:41–42 CSB
    41 When the ten disciples heard this, they began to be indignant with James and John. 42 Jesus called them over and said to them, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions act as tyrants over them.
    Jesus has a better plan: it is not the common way of behaving in while in office, but instead it was Jesus, by his own life and mission,

    Setting a New Standard

    for all of those who listen to what Jesus is trying to tell them.
    Mark 10:43–44 CSB
    43 But it is not so among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you will be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you will be a slave to all.
    So there you have it. Don’t become a leader in order to show how self-centered you are. Lead in such a way that your service shows more than your lust for power.
    The two brothers were declaring that they understood the Kingdom of God to be about power and control. The other ten, for that matter, still thought so too—that’s what they had gotten so mad about.
    But Jesus’ mission was about service and sacrifice. For Jesus is. . .

    A Savior Who Is Servant

    Mark 10:45 CSB
    45 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.”
    And in this gathering together, they heard the essence of Jesus’ mission recounted yet again. Jesus, God incarnate, had come to serve others with His life, leaving us a template for how to live, and He had come to sacrificially give His life in order to pay the ransom sin demanded so that we could go free. Jesus had been born to die.
    The Word became flesh in order to serve us and to die in our place. That’s why we can celebrate Christmas. We celebrate not only the arrival of the infant King, but the One who came to serve us and to suffer on our behalf. For His entrance into the world would have been to no avail if He hadn’t done what He came to do. But Jesus did accomplish the entirety of His mission.

    Jesus Had Been Born to Die

    Service and sacrifice were the path to greatness, and Jesus called His disciples yet again to follow Him down that road.

    Willingly

    Hebrews 7:27 CSB
    27 He doesn’t need to offer sacrifices every day, as high priests do—first for their own sins, then for those of the people. He did this once for all time when he offered himself.

    From the moment the Savior donned swaddling clothes to the moment people gambled for His clothes as He hung on the cross, every moment in between was spent modeling servanthood.

    Jesus revealed that the ladder of spiritual success is not one characterized by some sort of climb or ascension, but it is rather about descending to a place of humble service.

    Luke 1:38 (CSB)
    38 “See, I am the Lord’s servant,” said Mary. “May it happen to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.

    The favor of God accompanies a willing heart to serve and willing servants become conduits through which the supernatural plan of God unfolds.

    Willingness is born from surrender

    Intentionally

    Mark 10:45 CSB
    45 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.”
    Luke 4:18–19 (CSB)
    18 The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to preach good news to the poor.
    He has sent me
    to proclaim release to the captives
    and recovery of sight to the blind,
    to set free the oppressed,
    19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

    He planned to minister, connect with, reach, love and serve all people.

    Matthew 11:28 CSB
    28 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
    Acts 10:18 CSB
    18 They called out, asking if Simon, who was also named Peter, was lodging there.
    John 13:1 CSB
    1 Before the Passover Festival, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

    Jesus meant to serve His betrayer. What an intentional act of humility and love!

    Sacrificially

    Through His life He demonstrated that service in His footsteps happens willingly, intentionally, and sacrificially to carry the favor and power of God to change the world.

      • Mark 10:35–37HCSB

      • Mark 10:38–40HCSB

      • Mark 10:41–42ESV

      • Mark 10:43–44ESV

      • Mark 10:45ESV

      • Hebrews 7:27ESV

      • Luke 1:38HCSB

      • Mark 10:45ESV

      • Luke 4:18–19HCSB

      • Matthew 11:28ESV

      • Acts 10:18ESV

      • John 13:1ESV

    Let us get to know you!

    Please take a moment to send us your information so that we may stay connected with you. Your information is carefully managed and protected.
    I am a:
    Age:
    How did you hear about us?