Life on Earth isn’t easy, and being Christians doesn’t necessarily make it any easier. God calls us to serve Him by serving and loving others. He calls us to go to extremes, to risk shame and embarrassment, to embrace humility, and to make God’s passion our own. When prodigals find themselves in the pig stye, far from Father God, we are to be His ambassadors to those lost in the filth of a messy life.
This is not an appealing call. It’s humbling, dangerous, and frightening. But it was the same call that Jesus took upon Himself.
Jesus took on a humbling, dangerous task—saving us. We have now been called to do something similar, though it may not necessarily lead us to the point of physical death just death to our pride.
Of course, Jesus also did that, too.
Jesus was constantly humbling Himself by serving others. Even though He’d shared in the glory of the Father before the founding of the world, He left all of that to enter this world of endless humiliation and suffering.
He started on this journey of pain because He loves us; He made it through because He was focussed on the end result.
For the joy set before him [Jesus] endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
That joy was His return the His shared glory and intimacy with the Father. That joy was our entry into their relationship.
We have entered into that relationship, and now we are called to follow Jesus’ example of running toward the messes, diving head first into humbling, dangerous situations so that others might find Jesus as well. As we prepare to answer Jesus’ call to serve others like He did, let’s understand His mindset:
It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end….Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
John 13:1, 2-5
Knowing where He came from and where He was headed, Jesus was freed up to be humbled, freed up to truly love and serve others.
Where did we come from? A broken, empty life. Where are we headed? Toward greater intimacy with Jesus, toward Heaven and the glorious presence of God, our Father. Knowing that, keeping that in the forefront, how can we not find the strength and the desire to serve others knowing that any humiliation or pain suffered now will be short-lived and small in comparison to the coming glory of eternity with God.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Let’s focus on the glory to come, to us and to those whom we are desperate to reach, and endure any and all humiliation and pain in order to reach the lost.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.