Matthew 20:28 “ – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Jesus had a battle plan, and he was talking about service. Those may seem like two different concepts, but they’re not. They go together in many ways. Think of the thousands that are or have been in the armed forces, “the service.” Bodyguards and secret service agents sometimes have to ask themselves if they are willing to “take a bullet” for the person they are protecting. Service can often be all about battle. A battle and service can mean that life is lost or life is saved.
That is the way we need to think about the battle plan that Jesus was about to complete. Jesus was telling the disciples who seemed to be too busy or too distracted to listen that the battle involved his suffering and death. Jesus didn’t stop there. Jesus said that the battle would end in victory, his victory. Good Friday happened so that Easter would happen. The Savior would die, but he would rise again. Jesus was about to fight his final battle with Satan; then the war would be over. The victory wasn’t a wish or confidence without a basis. When the first sin was committed and Satan was turned loose in the world, God said there would be a battle and it would end with Satan being crushed under the foot of the Son of God – the God-man, Jesus Christ, the one-of-a-kind descendant of Adam and Eve. Jesus was days away from that horrible and final battle. It was the perfect time to think about service in the way only Jesus could serve.
Why could Jesus teach his disciples to think about themselves second and other people first? Why can we think and do what is best for other people as if we were the slaves and they were the masters? The answer is clear from what Jesus is telling us. We can do that because we are following Jesus’ perfect example of service. Jesus put you first, second only to his heavenly Father. Jesus came to serve, not just by taking a bullet but by suffering hell. He didn’t do it to save a life. He did it to save the world.
Before you can follow Jesus’ example, you need to meditate on the overwhelming love that God had, to send Jesus in order for him to serve with his perfect life sacrificed to save sinners – love for his Father, for the world, and for you that accomplished Jesus’ battle plan.