x299....serve-love-lay down your life
(Dakes study Bible)--
A Servant--a Slave--"someone who follows the commands of another"
The definition of a "servant" as used in the Bible is the concept of a person who follows the commands of another person. A Godly servant--a "servant of God" therefore would follow after the commands of Jesus.
What are Jesus' commands?
29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:29-31)
15 ¶ If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)
Jesus gave these commandments--to love God and love our neighbor. Now, these commands may on the surface seem to be commands of our "feelings" or emotions--but in fact--THE NEW TESTAMENT COMMANDS OF JESUS ARE SERVICE COMMANDS--THEY ARE COMMANDS FOR US TO SERVE GOD!
These are commands for us to serve God and serve others. Love seems to be a command of the heart--yet Jesus describes what He considers to be the greatest kind of love...
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)
Jesus says that the highest kind of love, which we are all called to strive toward, as Christians, is to lay down our lives.
To lay down our lives is to serve God and be the servant of others--with Christ as our example. To lay down our lives is the definition of ministry--at least according ot Jesus...
42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. 43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: 44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. 45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Mark 10:42-45)
Jesus came and gave us the example of what ministry is--to serve all--to lay down our life for God and others. Ministry is meant to be about service--to God and to others. Ministry is not, and never should be, rulership.
In the world, Jesus says--there are leaders who are rulers--who exercise authority over others---"but it shall not be so amongst you".
In His ministry in the earth, Jesus was the perfect example of this. He never ever used his authority over another person---He used every ounce of the authority that God the Father had given Him to destroy the works of the devil--to preach the Gospel--and to heal the sick--and at the same time, He released this same authority (power--Greek: exhousia) to those who followed Him--
Mt 10:1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power (exhousia) against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
Jesus functioned under, and released this authority in exactly the correct manner--He focused all this power from God to destroy the works of the devil in the earth--never over another person. The example Jesus set for His claim to leadership was as a servant--in fact He said it was necessary for Him to wash the feet of the apostles--
5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. 6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? 7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. 8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. 9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. 11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. 12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. 17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. (John 13:5-17)
Jesus gives us the example--saying that it is necessary in order to be "part" with Him. IN order to be joined together under His leadership it was necessary to submit to His leadership--to submit to His service. this is the meaning of Hebrews 13:17--to submit to" them that rule over you"--"them that rule" is the same Greek word which is translated as "chief" in Luke 22:26 (the Greek word "hegeomai")
26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. (Luke 22:26, KJV).
Submitting to the leadership of Jesus, meant to allow Him to serve you--in this instance to have your feet washed--this meant that they were part of one another--that they were bonded together under His leadership. Jesus is the perfect example of Christian leadership as being service to all. He states very clearly that this is the case, and also that we are to carry this on amongst ourselves--
13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
We are told to carry on this same concept in our leadership amongst ourselves.....
15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
The defintion of leadership as service to others is meant to be our example. Jesus is clearly saying that His way of ministering is the example to follow--and He specifies exactly what not to do in leadership--not to let leadership be "authority over" one another.
16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. 17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
Jesus reiterates that it is very true that the servant (doulos) is not greater that his lord--nor the apostles (he that is sent--apostollos) greater than he that has sent him. There is to be no leadership with authority over others within the kingdom of God--rather we are all meant to serve one another--and in fact be subject to one another--without ranking--without "seniority" --without social status--without rulership and subjection of will--
1Pe 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.