Spotlight 5/2023: True greatness is revealed in serving others
Our annual motto “Serving and reigning with Christ” does not mean that we should strive for power, District Apostle Michael Ehrich from Germany clarifies. Jesus rules differently than the powerful of the world. After all, He did not come to be served, but to serve.
Parents usually want only the best for their children. This can be seen in their constant efforts to ensure that the next generation will have a better life. An incident reported in the gospel of Matthew also speaks of such a committed behaviour on the part of a parent. In chapter twenty we read about a mother’s request. The mother of the brothers James and John asked a favour of the Lord. She asked that one of her sons may sit at His right side and the other on His left side in the kingdom of God. In other words, she was asking that her sons be allowed to occupy a prominent position in the kingdom of glory. The other disciples who heard this were angry with the way the two sons of Zebedee were calling attention to themselves. Jesus exhorted His disciples with the words: “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20: 26–28).
That the disciples would one day reign at the Lord’s side was beyond doubt. However, Jesus Christ wanted to make it clear that an attitude that strives for power was not compatible with His nature. For He, the Lord, rules in a different way than the mighty of this earth.
So much for the biblical findings. Seeing that Jesus Christ Himself did not come to be served, but to serve, He expects this all the more from His disciples, among whom we are also numbered.
So how must we serve the Lord in order to be able to reign with Him in His glory one day? First, we must serve God and our neighbour. In both cases, our fundamental attitude to serving must be one of love.
In concrete terms, this means that we
- go to church and attend divine services and thereby publicly express our faith;
- proclaim the gospel in word, work, and our nature;
- make spiritual and material sacrifices;
- contribute with our gifts to the church of the Lord.
In addition, there are many other ways to serve God and our neighbour. I recommend that you think about this when you have a few minutes to yourself because those who serve the Lord today are preparing themselves in the best possible way to reign with Him for eternity.