Who is the greatest servant in your home?
If people who know you and your family very well were asked who the greatest servant was in your home, what do you think their answer would be? Or if they asked your children those questions, what would the children say? And why does this even matter? You’ll see that this matters a whole lot. What did Yeshua have to say about it?
If you were to give an honest answer to that question about who serves and helps out most in your own family and household – what would your answer be? In old traditional families, daddy did the work outside and at the office and mom was expected to do the work (and serving) at home. I realize that has been changing with the under 65’s for the past few years, but my question still stands.
I think many believers “serve” in many ways, especially outside the home. But the point of this blog today is – “OK, but what about at home?” And what about when no one’s around to see? Really this should apply everywhere anyway. Let’s see what Yeshua said.
Luke 22:24-27 “Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. 25 And He said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called 'benefactors.' 26 But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. 27 For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.”
Please read and re-read those words of our Master and our Servant King several times. He is our Lord, our Master, our leader.
In the world today, servants are seen as low down the echelon of power or greatness. We speak of “menial” jobs and low-class jobs in a demeaning way. So janitors, yard workers, garbage collectors, even waitresses and many more are looked down on. But think: if they all quit for a few days, we’d all sure know about it, wouldn’t we?
And we aren’t thrilled when it seems a boss expects you or me to make the coffee – and then, horrors – clean up in the workplace dining area afterwards.
Would Yeshua have felt demeaned to make coffee? I suggest he might have even offered to be the one to make coffee and clean up and I’ll prove it. First of all remember he said (Luke 22:27)—“…Yet I am among you as one who serves!”
Click on Continue reading to wake us all up to become great in His eyes, by becoming ever greater in acts of service.
I’ve had to check my own beliefs and practices. I understand very well that scripture says to be a servant. In many places and venues, I am. But what about at home?
To men especially: Yeshua tells us that the ones he regards as great people are those who serve. So even though in many of your cultures around the world, it is the women and children who are supposed to be doing the serving work, scripture says we men should be leading in that.
I used to work with a pastor in Africa before the current man I work with, and that first one enjoyed telling everyone he was an apostle, and he was an important person. He sent me pictures of “the women of the church serving the pastors their meals at the Ministerial Summit”.
Don’t forget, a “minister” means one who serves, one who ministers. It’s not an office so much as an opportunity to encourage, help and serve others. So to describe this meeting of servants (ministers) as a “summit” sounded very pompous to me.
I know, I know, in 1 Timothy 3:1 in the KJV, it says, “If anyone desires the OFFICE of a bishop (overseer)…” But that phrase, “the office of” is not in the original Greek. The words aren’t there! Now read it without including the added words by the King James translators who were trying to restore authority in the church ministry. Now it basically says, “if anyone desires to be an overseer…”
So we see clerics in various churches with pompous titles such as: Most Holy Father (a name that should be reserved just for God the Father), his Eminence, your Holiness, Father, Reverend, Cardinal (meaning the prime one) and more. We speak of the “primacy” of this one or that one. Even the head nun is called a “Mother Superior”. Are the others “inferior”? Folks, this should not be. It’s wrong.
It’s so easy for pastors, ministers, fathers or managers to think everyone should be serving them. I’ve not always set the best example either, though I’ve tried. I remember deacons and other men rushing to me when I arrived at church as the pastor. They were offering to carry my briefcase! I was about 30 years old at the time and it seemed preposterous to me. I remember seeing a woman with 2 boys in wheelchairs parked some distance away while my spot – as pastor – was right by the door. I immediately asked some nearby men to join me in helping that woman with her boys and told them that from then on that woman and her van would take my spot near the door. Goodness! I could walk. She had a tougher time with two boys in wheelchairs and all their “stuff” to get inside.
SO – if we’re really learning to serve, instead of expecting someone to bring us a glass of water or juice or cup of coffee, we get our own. And while we’re up, we ask if anyone else would like one.
We make our own bed rather than expecting someone else to, or worse yet – leaving it sloppy. When Peter and John entered the empty tomb, they found the linen napkin over Yeshua’s face had been folded. Neatly (John 20:7).
After dinner, it’s all hands on deck. We should all help clean up after dinner. Teach the children by example that everyone helps bring in the dishes, rinse off, wipe counters, push chairs back in, sweep the floor and return items to the fridge and so on. WHY? Because Yeshua says HE serves and wants us to be servers. When my grandchildren come over for dinner, after dinner I tell the boys that we’re going to let mom and grandma have a break and we will clean up. And we usually do. And they’re very good at it.
Certainly when we’re pushed for time we can ask for help – and should. But this should not become the norm. Yes, I preach to myself too.
Back to Yeshua our example. Remember he was the Word who was with God and who was God and was the one who actually created all things as he followed the directions laid out by his Father (John 1:1-3). God the Father is overall creator, remember, who created all things THROUGH Jesus Christ (Eph 3:9; Hebrews 1:1-3). Anyway, this Word who was God became flesh and came to dwell among mankind (John 1:14).
How did Yeshua serve? He gave up his glory to come live and die for us as an ordinary man growing up in a home where dad was a carpenter. See Philippians 2:4-8. Joseph and Mary were poor. The only offering they could afford was a turtledove – not a lamb, or calf or bull.
He led by example. At the Passover in John 13:1-17, he saw how his disciples had been arguing over who would be the greatest, and nobody had bothered to wash their feet when they came in. So – this was the night GOD in the form of Yeshua knelt down in front of his creation and washed their feet! That was the role for a slave or servant or the lowest member of a family! We are to “wash one another’s feet” not just a Passover but have that serving attitude all the time. All year long. (John 13:13-17).
Yeshua taught – let’s look at it again – that we should quit trying to be the main person, “lording it over others”. When James and John wanted to be sure Yeshua would let them sit on his right and left hand in the kingdom – look what happened:
Matt 20:24-28 “And when the ten [other disciples] heard it, they were greatly displeased with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall NOT be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave — 28 just as the Son of Man did NOT come to be served, BUT TO SERVE, and to give His life a ransom for many."
The KJV says to “minister” which means “serve” . There’s our example.
Now look at this! When Jesus (Yeshua) puts on a big supper for his followers, guess who will be serving?
Luke 12:37—“Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that HE will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them.”
There it is. Let that sink in. That’s our kingdom’s way. Here’s the SON OF GOD being a table waiter for his servants.
Don’t ever, ever look down on “menial tasks” or lower-waged workers who mow your lawn in the heat of a southern summer, or the garbage collectors who do their job willingly, or the janitors and cleaners who keep buildings and restaurants hygienic for the rest of us. We should all have the mindset that nothing is too low for us as we seek to serve others and follow our Master’s example.
If you’re infirm or very elderly, then pray for others. Serve that way.
In whatever capacity you’ve been called, do it diligently “as unto the Lord” himself. Teach your children and grandchildren to be considerate of others, to pick up after themselves, to leave places better and cleaner than when they arrived (including Grandma’s house when they come to visit). My grandkids are very good at this and have had wonderful teaching.
There are thousands and thousands of ways to become more of a servant like Christ. Let’s start doing it more. And in the end, guess what? Those who serve the best and the most will be considered the greatest in the kingdom.
So who’s the greatest in your home? It’s the one who serves the most. That’s what Luke 22:26 strongly implies.