Bible Reading Blog
“Positioned to Serve”Categories: Congregational Bible Reading
BIBLE READING: Matthew 15
Powerful leaders are not typically accessible. Whether it is the CEO of a business or the president of a nation, there is a necessity to buffer the leader from everyday issues so they can focus on things of greater import. Naturally this creates separation, and often times in the shielding process the leader loses their connection with the people who have boots on the ground.
This was not the case with Jesus. Like many great leaders, as Jesus’ fame increased, his presence became more in demand. He became so sought out he couldn’t go anywhere without being accompanied by crowds (Matthew 14.13). On top of that, many of these people were sick and diseased (Matthew 15.30). It would be an uncomfortable position for many of us, and Jesus’ disciples didn’t think it was proper for a man of his position to be exposed to these things (Matthew 15.23).
But Jesus welcomed these situations. He intentionally walked by the sea and made time to be where the people were (Matthew 15.29). He healed the sick and had compassion on the crowds that followed him (Matthew 14.14; 15.30-32). Jesus made it a point to maintain his connection to the common person. Why? Didn’t he need to make sure his position was protected? Didn’t he have greater things to be concerned with?
From a worldly perspective, he should have become more inaccessible as his popularity increased. But the exact opposite happened. Rather than lording his authority over them, Jesus positioned himself to be a servant of the people. He invested more and more in the weaknesses and needs of the people to demonstrate his desire for their good. His choice to remain in-touch reveals the nature and purpose of his kingship was greater than just building a movement or creating distinction. It was about building community through service, and that started with him.
It is both inspiring and challenging that Jesus chose to serve rather than be served (Matthew 20.28). His compassion should prompt us to consider the motivation of our hearts. If I’ve learned anything from King Jesus, it is that we should never look at a person as trivial or insignificant.
Do we practice this with our lives? A smile, a kind word, a helping hand – even just an acknowledgment of someone’s existence! – can go a long way in serving others and building relationships. I fear sometimes we get caught up in doing “greater things” and overlook the seemingly “insignificant” opportunities right in front of us. However, to do so is to overlook the example of our king.
Jesus saw the value of every person and was always seeking an opportunity to serve. In our lives there are countless opportunities to serve in the kingdom (Matthew 9.37-38), but we must have eyes that see, hearts that care, and we must build lives that are accessible to others. Jesus positioned himself to serve others… are we following his lead?