Using God’s Authority to Lovingly Serve
When people are put in charge, they often use that authority to benefit themselves. But Jesus presents us with a different way of understanding authority. Jesus uses his authority to serve, giving himself on behalf of his people. As people who profess to follow Jesus, Christians need to imitate Jesus’ example of using God’s authority to lovingly serve.
Because self-serving power is the norm, the leaders of Judah in Jesus’ day didn’t understand that Jesus had any authority. “He saved others,” they mocked, “Let him save himself if he is the Messiah.” But Jesus didn’t save himself because he chose instead to use his authority to save us instead. This example of using God’s authority to lovingly serve must shape our way of being the church.
We often talk about how God has given us authority, but we may be eager to use that authority in ways that don’t imitate Jesus’ self-emptying love. This can lead us to crash and burn while trying to faithfully follow God (as we see in the case of the Jewish leaders who crucify Jesus while believing they are being faithful to God). Instead let’s imitate Christ in serving others, knowing that even in the things that seem unimportant–caring for the helpless, cleaning up after the ungrateful–we can do small things with great love.