Do you equate success with wealth, acclaim, and power? If we measured by these standards, then Jesus, who was rejected by His community and didn't even have a house of His own, was a failure. But, of course, we know that's not the case. So God must use something other than these worldly goals to define success. In fact, Scripture is clear that Jesus Christ is our example--we should strive to be like Him.
So, what exactly was our Savior's mission? In today's passage, we see the answer through His actions: He came to serve. The disciples, wanting recognition and reward, were arguing about who'd be the greatest in heaven. In contrast, Jesus took off His outer garment and performed the task of the lowliest servant: He washed the dirty feet of His followers. The next day, Almighty God was crucified by His own creation. In allowing this, He offered salvation to all--even those who nailed Him to a cross.
Jesus deserved glory but chose sacrifice and pain. And He asks that we follow His example of service. With the exception of Judas, His disciples obeyed. In fact, they all faced great difficulty and most died brutal deaths because of their faith. But they willingly walked the path of humility because of what Jesus had taught them: "The last shall be first, and the first last" (Matt. 20:16).
How do you spend your resources and time? And which topics dominate your thoughts and conversation? These are a few indicators of the driving goals in your life. You may long for worldly recognition, but God has a higher calling for His children. Ask Him to foster a servant's attitude in your heart.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.