Help Available, Apply Within

Help Available, Apply Within

Everything that Jesus was, is, and came to do was wrapped up in His declaration in Matthew 20:28 (and Mark 10:45), “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Whether raising a dead child to life, washing the disciples’ feet, or suffering excruciating pain and wrath on the cross (see Isaiah 53), Jesus performed all these feats to show us, fallen humanity, once and for all that we needed Him. We bring nothing to the table. And yet, Jesus served us with salvation and continues to serve us daily by filling us with the Holy Spirit. He provides gifts so that we might serve others. Even in our most ambitious, independent moments, we are fully dependent on God who supplies our strength (1 Peter 4:11).

In Desiring God, John Piper says that the gospel is not a ‘Help Wanted’ sign but a ‘Help Available’ sign. The promise of salvation is not for those who find a way to serve Jesus but for those who allow Jesus to serve them. It’s beautiful, humbling and embarrassing (think about Peter not wanting Jesus to wash his feet). And the glorious irony is that in serving us, Jesus is actually serving Himself. Isaiah 49:6 says “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant…I will also make You a light of the nations so that My salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” God didn’t want Jesus to save only the Jews but to bring glory to the Father through the salvation of souls. This is why, as stated in Philippians 2, Jesus humbled himself and became man and was obedient (the perfect Servant) even to death.

We can serve our families, communities and nations in practical ways. We can offer food and shelter, provide homework help, be a financial blessing, cover others in prayer, “wear our towels.” But if we truly desire to follow Jesus’ example, then we need to stop keeping a mental list of the ways we’ve served and the people we’ve blessed and the good we’ve done. The only reason we can serve others is because Jesus first served us. We need to serve joyfully and with the ultimate aim to see people embrace the Servant of Many, holding high his “Help Available” sign.

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