The King Who Came To Serve
He is the Good Shepherd who leaves the 99 sheep to look for that one lost sheep.
He is the God of all creation, God Almighty, yet He knows you intimately by name and even bothers to number the hairs on your head.
While others are ready to condemn and ostracise the guilty, He is ready to forgive and save them, and in so doing, He transforms their lives.
My friend, I am talking about our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He debunks all typical religious notions. To know Him is to say with the psalmist, “Who is there like You, O Lord!” (ref.: Psalm 89:8).
Our Lord Jesus is the King of heaven and yet in His own words, He “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
Beloved, are you in need of a breakthrough? Perhaps healing of a chronic, painful condition? Or creative ideas for your failing business? Maybe it’s restoration of a family relationship that’s going from bad to worse.
Whatever your burden, I want you to know that the Lord Jesus came to love you and to serve you. I pray that as you read on, you will come to see this amazing Bible truth and have your walk with Him refreshed. This simple but profound truth will reignite your faith to receive from Him the blessing you need!
Many people think that the Lord Jesus demands this and that of them, that He requires them to sacrifice much for Him and to serve Him tirelessly. Yet, as we have seen from Mark 10:45, He came to serve us, not to be served by us.
In fact, right after our Lord declared this truth, we see a clear demonstration of it. In the same chapter, Jesus came to Jericho and as He was leaving the city, thronged by a great multitude, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus was sitting by the road. When he realised that Jesus was passing by, he began to cry out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Many in the crowd told him to be quiet, but he cried out even more. Now, blind Bartimaeus must have known something about Jesus to be so bold in calling out to our Lord despite the crowd’s displeasure. I reckon he knew that Jesus could and wanted to serve him in the area of his need — recovery of sight.
And the words of this blind beggar caused God Himself, the One who flung the stars, the sun, and the moon into place, to stand still! The Bible says Jesus “stood still”, called for Bartimaeus to be brought to Him and asked him, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
Can you imagine that? The most powerful being in the universe heard the cry of a blind beggar, stopped in His tracks, and responded to the man by essentially asking him, “How can I serve you? What can I do for you?” To which, Bartimaeus replied, “That I may receive my sight.”
Call out to the Lord today. He will stand still for you. He loves you and wants to help you!
When Bartimaeus reached out with bold faith to Jesus and asked of Him, our Lord’s answer was, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And the Bible tells us that “immediately”, Bartimaeus received his sight and followed our Lord on the road.
My friend, like Bartimaeus, do you know with certainty that you can reach out boldly to the Lord today? Call on Him and hear Him say to you, “What do you want Me to do for you? How can I serve you?”
Go ahead and ask of Him. Ask Him for freedom from that addiction, that physical condition, or that mental oppression. You can also ask the Lord for wisdom in your career or studies. Maybe what you need is peace, patience, and strength to love and raise your kids well, or restoration in an area of loss, whether it’s an estranged family relationship or lost years due to a string of bad decisions.
Call out to the Lord today. He hears you and He will stand still for you. He wants you to know He loves you and wants to help you!
But Pastor Prince, you don’t know what I’ve done. You don’t know my past. I don’t deserve God’s help.
Neither did blind Bartimaeus. And you are right. I don’t know what you’ve done or what happened in your past. But I can assure you that Jesus does. And His Word assures us that when He went to the cross, He dealt perfectly with the payment and punishment of all the wrong that you and I have done and will ever do (ref. Colossians 2:13). I submit to you that when the Bible says your sins are forgiven because of Jesus’ sacrifice, from God’s perspective, your sins are forgiven!
You don’t have to do something for God to love you. He already demonstrated His love for you when He gave up Jesus for you. And He knows you by name. He knows the number of hairs on your head. His love for you is that personal and intimate.
You may ask, How can God Almighty, who has billions of people on the planet to love, still love me with such personal knowledge? That’s why He is God! And He wants you to pray knowing that as you call out to Him, all His love is converged on you. It goes completely against the religious ideas people have of God and prayer, but that’s the attitude that delights Him when you talk to Him.
Wait a minute. All this sounds like you are encouraging us to go to God only to receive blessings. What about us serving Him?
My friend, did you see how once Bartimaeus received his sight, he used it first of all to follow Jesus? No one had to preach to him about pursuing the Lord. The moment he had been loved, served, and blessed by the Lord, he willingly and without hesitation followed the Saviour!
And that’s how our service to the Lord ought to be — out of the overflow of receiving His love for us. Jesus Himself said, “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). We can only give freely of ourselves to God, to His work, and to people He loves (not grudgingly or out of obligation or a misplaced fear of His judgment) when we first freely receive His love.
As you allow Him to serve you and pour His grace upon you, you will be reinvigorated and strengthened.
Over the years, I have received many testimonies from believers who had sincerely wanted to serve the Lord in church and ministry, but became exhausted physically and burnt-out spiritually, because they began with the wrong premise. They believed that they had to serve God before He would love and bless them. And so they did it out of obligation, out of their own strength, self-efforts, and self-sacrifices.
That was the case for Penny, who wrote in from North Carolina in the United States. She shared that she had received the Lord when she was 10, and how she tried to be good, to study the Bible, to be more involved in ministry, and to “live up to the church’s demands of following Christ”. There was a lot of service but little or no joy. Then in her thirties, her marriage failed, leaving her devastated, and she became involved in meaningless relationships. She said, “I cried out to the Lord to help me although I had little hope that I would ever be truly whole or happy.”
That was until Penny came across my ministry, and learnt about and understood the differences between the old and the new covenants, and all that Jesus had done for her on the cross. The more she saw the Lord’s mercy, grace and love, the more she fell in love with Him and became passionate about sharing His love with others. With much joy she said:
Today, I am a writer and Bible teacher who shares with anyone who will read or listen to the message of freedom we have through the finished work of Christ. I am completely in love with Jesus, my bridegroom. He has brought me to a blessed place described in Isaiah 61:3 — He has given me a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
All glory to our Lord Jesus! Now perhaps, like what Penny shared earlier, you have been doing your best to serve the Lord in various capacities, only to feel drained, unhappy, and confused as to why you are even feeling this way! Maybe, like her, you have been hurt by others and are experiencing one bad break after another.
Beloved, can I ask you to cease from your works and self-efforts to please the Lord and make things right, and to just rest and trust in His grace? I believe He is reaching out to you now, washing your feet and refreshing your weary soul with His love. And as you allow Him to serve you and pour His grace upon you, I have no doubt you will be reinvigorated and strengthened. Clarity and wisdom will be imparted to you, and in good time you will serve Him again, this time with boundless energy and joy, and for all the right reasons!
I hope you are beginning to see that even though we want to serve the Lord and we consider it a great honour and privilege to do so, in reality, it all begins with letting Him serve us. And He serves us, first with salvation, until we are so full that we are able to serve out of that fullness. This is exactly what happened with the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4.
Her story captures so beautifully our Lord’s heart to love and serve us. Remember that our Lord was sitting at the well because He was tired. Even then, He was ready to serve. Our Lord ministered so tenderly to this woman, who because of her immoral lifestyle came to get water from the well at noon — after all the other women had left. She didn’t know that she was actually being served by the Messiah, but boy, was she served!
Not only did our Lord Jesus remove her shame and condemnation, but He also restored her confidence and self-worth. Now what happened to this woman who, up to that point, lived a life shrouded in shame? The Bible tells us that after she encountered the Lord and was so full from His ministry of grace, she became an evangelist immediately. In fact, she was so effective that “many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified”. You can read all about it in John 4:4–42.
To show you how much our Lord Jesus loves you and wants to tend to your needs, let me show you a beautiful picture of Jesus that the Father has hidden in the Old Testament. It is in the law of the Hebrew servant, which is found in Exodus 21, just after God gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments:
“Now these are the judgments which you shall set before them: If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing.”
In Israel, every Hebrew slave can go free in his seventh year of service. So the seventh year represents a time of freedom and restoration for him.
The law goes on to say that if the Hebrew servant entered his master’s service by himself, he would leave by himself, and if he came in married, then his wife would leave with him. However, “if his master has given him a wife, and she has borne him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself” (Exodus 21:3–4).
That means the Hebrew servant leaves his wife and children behind. But the law also allows him to choose to stay with his master and family, a decision that requires his ear to be pierced:
“But if the servant plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever.”
Now the door or doorpost is where the Hebrew servant comes so close to freedom — liberty is on the outside; servitude on the inside. If he chooses to stay because he loves his master, as well as his wife and children, then his master will bring him to the judges and the doorpost, and pierce his ear with an awl, and he will serve his master for the rest of his life.
Imagine how elated and secure the Hebrew servant’s wife and children will feel when they see his pierced ear and the bloodstains. They know he could have left to enjoy a life of freedom without them, but he chose a future with them. From then on, whenever they look at his ear, they will see the mark of his piercing, and they will remember that he had a choice, and he chose to stay with them, to be with them and to take care of them, because he loves them.
Isn’t that just such a beautiful picture?
It’s a picture of our Lord Jesus, who had His hands and feet pierced for us. He is the Hebrew Servant, who left heaven and came down to earth with the sole purpose of fulfilling His Father’s salvation plan for us.
The Lord of glory, the God of heaven and earth, came down as a man to serve us by saving and delivering us from sin and from ourselves. Oh, such humility, that the eternal God would confine Himself in a baby, in time and in space!
At any point during His earthly ministry, Jesus could have chosen to return to the Father in heaven. He could have drawn the line when the religious leaders rejected Him. He could have put His foot down when they plotted to kill Him. Even in the garden of Gethsemane, when the soldiers came to arrest Him, our Lord could have summoned 12 legions of angels and gone back safely to the Father.
Our Lord had a choice — He could return to heaven or He could stay the course and go to Calvary. Our Lord chose to stay.
So our Lord had a choice — He could return to heaven or He could stay the course and go to Calvary to suffer a most painful death. Our Lord chose to stay. In the language of the account of the Hebrew servant, He said, “I will stay. I love My Master, My Father in heaven; I love My wife, the church; and I love My children, the believers as well as the children of Israel.” And He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem where He would die for us and fulfill His Father’s will.
Now, because Jesus chose the scourging and the piercings, we can be healed, made whole, and receive eternal life. Because He shed His blood, we can be made righteous, forgiven of every sin. Because He became poor on the cross, we can be well supplied for every need. And because He wore the crown of thorns, we can be free from mental oppression, anxiety, and defeatist thoughts. Hallelujah!
My friend, Jesus came to serve you. He wants you to receive from Him. Will you do that today? Will you let Him serve you and turn your situation around for your good and for His glory?
See Jesus not just as God Almighty, but also your Servant-King who is willing to provide for all your needs.
Jackson, a young man living in Australia did just that and found his life wonderfully transformed. At 17, he was “insecure, severely depressed, and suicidal”. He partied, experimented with drugs, and tried psychology to feel better. He also tried to be a “good” Christian to get God to hear his prayers and help him.
Nothing worked until Jackson received a revelation of the servant heart of the Lord. Here’s what Jackson wrote:
I was in the darkest period of my life and had barely a glimmer of hope. But little did I know that at this time, God had already begun His plan to rescue me. He began to unveil Jesus through Pastor Joseph Prince’s sermons and resources.
I have received the greatest revelation of God’s grace and have been tremendously impacted by Jesus’ unconditional love and unmerited favour. I now know that I am the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ, the one and only who could ever possibly make it so. I also know that I can always run to Him anytime, anywhere, in any situation, and He will receive me with open arms because He carries a burning desire to help, care for, and bless me.
Today, I am currently planted in a local church, happily and fruitfully serving in various forms. All high-fives to Jesus!
Praise the Lord for another precious life transformed! My prayer is that you will walk away with the same revelation that Jackson has of the servant heart of Jesus — “He carries a burning desire to help, care for, and bless me.”
Every day, whether it’s through reading your Bible or listening to a sermon or worship song, fill yourself up with the Lord’s love and be satisfied by His grace. See Him not just as God Almighty, but also your Servant-King who is willing to provide for all your needs and deliver you from every trouble. That way you will run on the power of His love instead of your own human strength, which will only lead to stress and fatigue. That way you will see His wisdom flow in every situation you face, and His provision more than meet any need you have!
Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the testimony givers.
Copyright © 2018 Joseph Prince. All rights reserved.
Recommended CD resource:
Know Him Whose Heart Is to Serve You, 12 March 2017