“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)

One of the most common questions asked by students to their teachers is, “Why do we need to learn this?” After learning they have to do another series of conditioning drills, athletes often ask their coach, “Why do we need to do this?” Many students ask, “What’s the purpose?” when talking about mandatory service hours for school. We all want to know the purpose behind the things we’re doing, yet often the answer we get is, “Well, that’s just what needs to be done,” “That’s how we’ve always done it,” or “It’s for your own good.” Thankfully, when it comes to service as a follower of Jesus, we have a much better purpose behind what we are called to do.

As followers of Christ, we are called to imitate the example that He set for us. Jesus says in Mark 1:45 that He “did not come to be served, but to serve.” We are to serve others just as Jesus served them. That’s all well and good, but if that’s our only goal, then we’re missing out on the biggest part of the example that Jesus set for us. A lot of people serve, including many non-Christians. It is not the act of service itself that sets us apart as followers of Christ. If all Jesus talked about was serving others, then we would likely not remember Him today, because an act of service is temporary. What sets Jesus apart is that He came not only to serve, but also to “give his life as a ransom for many,” which He accomplished through His death and resurrection. It’s the life that we have through faith in Him that sets us apart from others who serve.

Jesus came to both serve others and save them. He did not separate His everyday service to His neighbors from His death on the cross, so neither should we. We serve in order to share. It’s not just about doing something nice for someone else. Christian service is about sharing the love and message of Christ with others, which is a
purpose that is so much greater than anything else the world can offer. We serve to share. We serve to share the love of Christ. We serve to share our lives with others by building relationships. We serve to share the message of the Gospel. Because God served us through His Son Jesus Christ, we now serve our neighbors in order to point them to Jesus. We just worry about serving to share, and then let the Holy Spirit do the miraculous work of creating faith. That’s our purpose today, tomorrow and every day as baptized and forgiven children of God.

Prayer Starter: God, thank you for drawing us to yourself and giving us a purpose for the rest of our lives through our relationship with You. Thank you for your
Holy Spirit, which creates faith and works through our imperfect acts of service. Let all of our service be used as a chance to share the love and message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. In His Name, Amen!