“The Son of Man came, not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
– Matthew 20:28
Matthew 20:28 is an awesome verse. Think about what Jesus just said. Yes, the last part of that verse, He came to give His life as a ransom for many. That’s amazing to think that Jesus has come to die, to pay the price of our sin for us so that we can be forgiven.
Jesus did not come to be served, but rather to serve weak and needy sinners.
He’s given his life as a ransom, but then even before that, He said, “I did not come to be served, but to serve.” That’s an astounding statement for the God of the universe, in the flesh, to make. Jesus saying, “I didn’t come to be served by you.” And the word he uses for “serve” here is the word that we use to get the word deacon. So it literally means to wait on tables.
This is Jesus saying, “I didn’t come to be waited on by you. I came to wait on you. I didn’t come to be served by you. And I came to serve you. I didn’t come to be helped by you. I came to help you.” This is Jesus saying that He came to be our servant. He came to be our help, our waiter in a sense. However, this is lunacy. No religious teacher talks like this.
Jesus did not come as a potentate whose personal whims were to be catered to by lowly servants. Jesus is saying, “I came to be the lowly servant,” which makes sense, doesn’t it? This is the only way we can be saved from our sins, is if Jesus serves us. Therefore we can’t be saved by serving Him. So we need Him to do the saving work in our hearts.
This Verse Explains That Jesus Serves Us
It’s not just to the point of our salvation. In fact, it’s every single day in our salvation. I think about waking up this morning. I’ve got so many needs in my life. I need wisdom in this or that area. I feel weak in this or that way. Feel tempted in this or that way. Therefore I need help, and the whole point of why Jesus came is to say, “I’ve come to help you.” I’m here in this world this morning as I’m thinking about all the needs in my life, and Jesus is saying, “I’m gonna wait on you. I’m gonna serve you. I’m gonna provide you with the wisdom you need. And I’m gonna provide you with the strength your gonna need in your weakness. I’m gonna enable you to resist temptation in this way or that way.”
Let this soak in when you wake up in the morning. Jesus, the God of the universe stands ready to serve you. That’s why He came. He didn’t come to be serve, but to serve.
Matthew 20:28 Thanks God For His Love For Us
Oh, God, we can hardly even wrap our minds around this reality. Thank you for the way you love us, the way You stoop in your son to serve us. We confess, we are needy people. Even the essence of why we pray is because we’re needy people. We’re looking to you, even right now, we’re sin. We need you. We need your help. I think about all the areas in my life, the areas in peoples’ lives who are praying this with me, we have so many needs. We need so much help, and we praise you for being our helper.
A thought that you, the God of the universe would be our helper, that Jesus, you would stoop to serve us, so we say, “Yes, we want to be served by you today.” Serve us. Strengthen us. Satisfy us. Then help us. Provide for us in all the ways we need it today. So we pray these things with gratitude in our hearts, for your love for us, for your gracious desire to serve us.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.