To Save and To Serve

Listening to Librivox’s World English Bible translation of the book of Matthew, I came to the part where Jesus is describing His mission and what the mission of His followers will be. In this free (in the public domain) audiobook, different sections of the New Testament are read by different readers, which gives a wonderful sense of the scope and reach of God among the nations and cultures of the world. Some chapters towards the end of Matthew are read by a man with a wonderful, deep voice and an ear-pleasing African accent (I don’t know whereabouts in Africa). When the narrator came to Jesus’ words: “I came to serve, and not to be served”, I misheard, and thought he said: “I came to save, and not to be saved”. Both seem very accurate to describe both Jesus’ mission, and our own. We are called to be last, we are called to place the serving and the salvation of others above our own comfort. I’m not sure I do a very good job of this, but it has struck a chord, that’s for sure.

‘…Jesus called [the disciples] to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the [unbelievers] lord it over them and that their great ones have absolute power? But it must not be so among you. No, whoever among you wants to be great must become the servant of you all, and if he wants to be first among you he must be your slave—just as the Son of Man has not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life to set many others free.”

Matthew 20:25-28 (PHILLIPS)

This is a big task. Just as well He gives us strength in our weakness.

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