John 12:26 - Servant

John 12:26

“If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.

The idea of being subservient to another tends to not sit well with most of us. To follow someone around attending to their every wish seems below us. There is something humiliating about lowering oneself in order to serve. I can still remember how humiliating it was to my sister when my mom had to get a job in food service at McDonald’s to help our family pay the bills. She felt this was beneath my mom’s dignity, and thus reflected on our own dignity as a family. She could not imagine one of her friends going to McDonald’s and seeing our mom in such a state.

I came across a quote a while back by theologian J.I. Packer. He said, “Whether being a servant is a matter for shame or pride depends on whose servant one is.”[1] I find those words to ring so true. A few years ago, I watch a movie called The Butler. It was loosely based on the life of Eugene Allen, a black man who served as a butler at the White House for 34 years. Many of those years were during the civil rights movement, and he was criticized during this time by many of his friends and family. They could not understand how a black man could be at the beck and call of white presidents after his own family’s struggle to free themselves from slavery. Yet, Eugene never wavered. He refused to feel shame over what he considered to be a high position. He took so much pride because he was not just a servant. He was the servant to the President.

As believers, we have such an amazing opportunity to be in the service industry, and it should fill us with so much pride. We are not called as servants to impatient McDonald’s patrons or even U.S. presidents. Instead, we are much more honored to be called servants of the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and President of Presidents. It should be our honor to follow Him around attending to His every desire and whim. An independent life apart from such service is way overrated. The life of a servant is the path to true honor from the One whose praise is the only we should seek.

May we choose to lay down our independent pride and put on the white gloves and tux in service to our King.

[1] Packer, J. I. Knowing God. 20th anniversary ed edition (Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1993).

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