Mark 10:42-45 NRSVue
42So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 43But it is not so among you; instead, whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, 44and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. 45For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many.”
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Some thoughts on this scripture
The call of Jesus is to share his life, his values and live as he does, not to have the top places, if even such there be in his service. Holiness is judged on our closeness to God, not on our rank, our job, our vocation. Prayer is one means of staying humble, and of being willing to be part of the serving ministry of Jesus. As he came to serve, so also we are called to be servants of faith and love in our world.
Many titles of the Lord include the word servant - servant king, servant Messiah, servant Lord. This is one of Jesus' deepest identities - he is among us as one who serves. Watch him in the gospel teaching his disciples to be like him, one who serves others in love. He teaches this to each of us in prayer.
To lead as Jesus did is not to exercise power and control but is to appeal to the heart, to uncover where God is to be found. I thank God for those who have proven themselves to be leaders for me. I pray in humility that I may lead others to truth.
Being a servant or slave seems repulsive to the modern mind. I think of how I might give quiet, unrecognised or unrewarded service to those around me, not announcing it or seeking recognition.