Serving in His Image

When God created man, He did two things: (1) Put His image in man, and (2) Gave him dominion over the earth. “Thou makest them to have dominion over the works of thy hands; Thou has put all things under his feet” (Psalm 8:6). Such dominion involves everything from animals to our bodies to money to possessions to use of our abilities. Such dominion can lead us toward pride and the idea of being served rather than serve. People love to exercise authority, and the hardest part to having dominion is to not be puffed up about it. Jesus taught James, John, and their mother a valuable lesson about giving each one of them a special seat in the kingdom: “Ye know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Not so shall it be among you: but whosoever would become great among you shall be your minister; and whosoever would be first among you shall be your servant...” (Matthew 20:25-27). Jesus is saying His kingdom will be full of disciples who are servants, like Him (vv. 27-28).

Friend, it is not our lot in life to see how many people we can control, how many we can boss, supervise, or dictate assignments to. It is a matter of whether we carry out our own assignments of serving like Christ. Jesus proved to be the greatest example of serving. Hebrews 7:26,27 says He is a perfect example of one who offered himself for our good. Philippians 2:6-8 shows Jesus as the servant of all mankind by entering the world prepared to give Himself for all. 

The key to Jesus’ service is the phrase “emptied Himself.” He emptied Himself of everything most humans want: power, authority, glory, and all other God-like attributes man would love to have. When Jesus “emptied Himself,” what was left was a “servant.” It was a life of submission, pleasing the Father, and obedience. Jesus took on the likeness of man and did not murmur or rebel against the position. He served faithfully all the way to death - the death of a cross. God highly exalted Him for that servitude (v. 9).

The Lord came to show us who God meant for us to be. He left the example to follow (John 13:15-17; 1 Peter 2:21). Consider this: Would we have regard for Jesus if He were like a Roman emperor (forceful, strong, empire-builder, etc.)? Consider this: Who is given more respect - those who are dignified with “titles,” pomp, or praise? How about those who humbly deny and exhaust their energy for the good of others? Remember this one thing: We are not exalted here to be exalted in heaven. We humbly serve here to receive the praise of God, an eternal residence.