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Servant’s Heart

Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all. Mark 9:35

Cook. Event Planner. Nutritionist. Nurse. These are just some of the responsibilities regularly performed by modern moms. In 2016, research estimated that moms likely worked between fifty-nine and ninety-six hours per week doing child-related tasks.

No wonder moms are always exhausted! Being a mom means giving a lot of time and energy to care for children, who need so much help as they learn to navigate the world.

When my days feel long and I need a reminder that caring for others is a worthy pursuit, I find great hope when I see Jesus affirming those who serve.

In the gospel of Mark, the disciples were having an argument about which one of them was the greatest. Jesus quietly sat down and reminded them that “anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all” (9:35). Then He took a child in His arms to illustrate the importance of serving others, especially the most helpless among us (vv. 36–37).

Christ’s response resets the bar for what greatness looks like in His kingdom. His standard is a heart willing to care for others. And Jesus has promised that God’s empowering presence will be with those who choose to serve (v. 37).

As you have opportunities to serve in your family or community, be encouraged that Jesus greatly values the time and effort you give in service to others.

How might you serve someone today? How could you take time to say “thank you” to someone who has graciously loved and served you?

Jesus, thank You for reminding us of Your loving care for children and any who are vulnerable. Help us to follow Your example of service.


In the world of first-century Israel, opening one’s home to travelers was of great social importance. According to one rabbinic tradition, hospitality was greater than welcoming the shekinah, which signaled God’s glory or presence in His temple. The same culture, however, didn’t require men to open the doors of their hearts to members of their own community they considered beneath their dignity. They regarded servants, wives, and children as property and often treated them accordingly. As a result, Christ’s disciples had no natural understanding of a kingdom that would be led by a servant-king willing to die for His vision of a better world (Mark 9:30–32).

Jesus turned their views of His kingdom upside down by embracing and honoring a little child to illustrate a humility they’d not yet begun to understand. Then He expanded the implications of who we welcome into our hearts (v. 37).

Mart DeHaan

By |2019-08-12T17:17:33-04:00August 23rd, 2019|
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