In Mark ten, James and John came up to Jesus and asked to sit in a high ranking position in heaven. The other ten disciples were indignant at James and John for asking such a thing. The word used ‘indignant’ shows that they were angry because they thought them two were unworthy of that position. I am sure they were thinking about when Jesus said, “ask, seek, knock.” Jealousy was probably in their hearts thinking that they missed out of a great privilege because they did not ask first. Jesus calls them all to his side and reminds them about the Gentiles who think that they should be masters over other people (v. 42). In contrast, Jesus says “it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant” (v. 43 nasb). A servant is one who voluntarily takes an inferior position in order to meet the needs of others. Jesus goes on to say that”whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all (v. 45 nasb). All of the disciples were seeking greatness, but to get it they must be willing to be a slave to everyone. The proper interpretation of slave here is to be a “bondservant”. A bondservant is one who willingly sells himself in to slavery to another. A slave is forced to do work for his master, whereas a bondservant has willingly chosen to serve to his master.
As our example, Jesus did not come to be waited upon, but to serve. He was willing to perform certain duties which were humble in nature (i.e. wash disciples feet). Also, He came to be a “ransom for many”. A “ransom” is a means of release or the price from slavery. Jesus paid our sin debt on the cross.
Before we were saved, we were a slave to sin. Sin was our master, as we continually followed its control. Once we have accepted Christ as our Savior, we are a new creation, who is free from the slavery of sin, and he is now alive in Christ (Rom 6; 2 Cor 5:17). We are no longer a slave, but we should take the humble position as a bondservant who willingly chooses to follow his new master; Jesus Christ. As a bondservant, we should be looking for opportunities to serve others, so through that service the unsaved will see Jesus Christ in us.
Are you serving others?
Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”