If someone were to ask me, “Do you want to be like Jesus?” I would readily agree that, yes, I do want to be like Jesus! In fact, God’s purpose for me is to conform me more and more to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29). Philippians 2:5 tells us that we are to “make [our] own attitude that of Christ Jesus…,” and the passage goes on to describe Christ’s selfless humbling of Himself to the point of death on a cross for us. Mark 10:45 tells us that “even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” A true disciple of Christ, therefore, will share in Christ’s attitude of humility and selfless service for others.
I have found that a look at some of the “one another” passages in the New Testament, as well as a study of Christ’s own example of service, can help me to identify some key characteristics of a servant.
For example, a servant is someone who…
Serves others tangibly…
- John 13:1-15 – Jesus washed His disciples’ feet, then told them to follow His example.
- Gal. 5:13 - “Serve one another in love”
- Gal. 6:2 - “Bear one another’s burdens”
- 1 Pet. 4:9 – “Offer hospitality to one another “
Is focused on others…
- John 19:25-27 – Even on the cross, Jesus is thinking of others!
- John 13:34-35 – “Love one another “
- Rom. 12:10 – “Be devoted to one another”
- Rom. 15:17 – “Accept one another”
- 1 Cor. 11:33 – “Be considerate of one another”
- 1 Cor. 12:25 – “Have concern for one another”
- 1 Cor. 12:26 – “Sympathize with one another”
- Eph. 4:32 – “Be kind and compassionate to one another”
Prays for others…
- John 17:6-26 – Jesus prays for His disciples and all who will believe on Him in the hours immediately preceding His crucifixion.
- James 5:16 – “Pray for one another”
Denies self and puts others first…
- John 4 – Jesus puts the spiritual need of a Samaritan woman before His own physical needs.
- John 18:11; 19:17 – Jesus endured the suffering of the cross for our sake!
- Rom. 12:10 – “Honor one another above yourself”
- 1 Cor. 4:6 – “Don’t have pride toward one another”
- Eph. 5:21 – “Submit to one another”
- Phil. 2:3 – “Consider others more important than yourself”
- Phil. 2:4 – “Look out not only for your own interests but also for the interests of others”
- James 4:11 – “Do not slander one another”
- 1 Pet. 5:5 – “Treat one another with humility”
Shares truth with others, even when it is costly or uncomfortable…
- Matt. 10:21-25; John 6:60-66 – Jesus repeatedly taught truths to His disciples and the crowds that would have been very unpopular, but He loved them enough to be honest with them!
- Rom. 15:14 – “Instruct one another”
- Col. 3:16 – “Admonish one another”
- 1 Thess. 5:11 – “Encourage one another”
- Heb. 10:24 – “Spur one another on towards love and good deeds”
This is just a sampling of the many passages that speak about the attitude we should have towards others, but it is clear that we ought to be growing in these things if we are truly becoming more like Christ!
What does my attitude towards others and my service reveal about Christ to those around me? When they see me, do they see Him?