JANUARY 2004 CALENDAR ARTICLE
OUR THEME THIS YEAR:
Serving God with Humility and Love
Jesus Christ — Humble Servant
by Karen Powell
Humble, humility: defined as the opposite of, or freedom from pride; an attitude which grows out of the recognition that all we are and all we have are gifts from our God.
Humility is not a weakness, but rather a strong quality. It is praised in the Bible and it shows a trust in God. When we humbly reduce ourselves to nothing, we can expand to experience ourselves as everything through communion with God.
Jesus is the supreme example of humility, a humble servant. Philippians 2: 5-8: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!” A humble servant unto death, yet he is completely adequate and of infinite dignity and worth!
Biblical humility is not a belittling of oneself, but an exalting or praising of others, especially God and Christ. Philippians 2:3: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”
No harm comes from holding yourself to be less than someone else, even if it is not true; but much harm comes from holding yourself to be better than others, even if they are great sinners. —Thomas A. Kempis.
Servant: One who serves others; any person under the authority of another. The term servant was frequently applied to those who performed some service, task or mission for the Lord. This designation applied to: Abraham (Genesis 26:24), “I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant, Abraham;” Isaac (Genesis 24:14), “Let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac;” Jacob (Ezekiel.28:25), “Then they will live in their own land, which I gave to my servant Jacob;” Moses (Deuteronomy 34:5), “And Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in Moab, as the Lord had said.” There were many Old Testament prophets who were called God’s servants also.
Jesus was the perfect example of a servant. The New Testament writers are unanimous in stating that the Servant of the Lord is a messianic figure and that Jesus is that Servant. In Acts 3:13, the apostle Peter referred to Jesus as “His Servant:” “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers has glorified His servant, Jesus.” Peter used the same term as he completed his sermon, in Verse 26. Later, after Peter and John’s arrest and release, they and a group of Christians twice mentioned “Your holy Servant Jesus” in their prayer (Acts 4:27, 30). Holy and divine, yet with “the very nature of a servant!”
Through Jesus the mission given by God to Abraham — to be a blessing to all the families of the earth — is now entrusted to the church. The church’s responsibility is to preach the Word to everyone, to be a servant to all we come in contact with. To be a servant of God is to serve him continually. As Jesus’ mission was to be a servant, so must ours be. “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all” (Mark 10:43).
Choose the meekness of Moses and you will discover
your heart of rock is transformed into a spring of water.”
—Amma Syncletica, 1/11/03