Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rules of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave– 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.” –Matthew 20:20-28
I once attended a high school basketball game where, during the pregame ceremony, the seniors on the team were introduced. The announcer highlighted some of the players’ accomplishments and read what each guy had written about his future goals. They all sounded similar:
• “Jason is going to college and hopes to be rich in the future.”
• “Chris will attend university in the fall and plans on being wealthy.”
• “Michael dreams of a future with lots of money and a Ferrari.”
• “Gabe will go to college and then get rich or die trying.”
To them, significance and success was synonymous with wealth. In reality, it’s not. Trust me, I looked it up in the dictionary.
Everyone chases after something. For these young men, wealth was the focus of their chase. Personally, chasing wealth is not my story, but I am chasing something, because I don’t want to waste my life. You are chasing something too. If you are like me, you don’t want to waste your life either. There’s a little voice in the back of your head saying, “There could be more!” And you are right. There could be. According to the Bible, there IS more. It’s called significance.
The bottom line is that whatever we are chasing in life, we hope it will lead us to significance. We want our lives to matter. We want our lives to have meaning. But for many people, the chase leads down a dead-end street.
Jesus did not teach that significance was tied to wealth. Rather, he said if we want significance we can achieve it, but it comes in a radical package and with a price many are not willing to pay. He said that the route to significance is paved with service. He said that the one who is greatest is the one who serves.
When your life is over, do you want to know that you achieved significance? Do you want to know that your life mattered? Then, you must serve. Serving is the primary method God uses to form the character of Jesus in us. When you serve, you become more like Him. You are never more like Jesus than when you serve. As we read in today’s Scripture passage, “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Today, chase significance by serving others. See a need and meet it. In doing so, you’ll become wealthy — not likely in the earthly sense, but you’ll be storing up treasures of significance that will last forever.
1. Reflect on your life. What does your life show that you are chasing after in order to find significance?
2. How does Jesus’ example inspire or challenge you to become more of a servant to others?
John 13:3-17; Matthew 6:19-20; Luke 10:27-37