We as humans desire to be successful and important persons. There are, however, various interpretations of what it means to be successful and important. One definition of success is the gaining of wealth, power, and fame. To be important, according to Webster’s Dictionary is “having or acting as if having power, authority, influence, or high position.”
In Luke 22:14-30 it is quite apparent that Jesus’ opinion of what it means to be important and successful is not like the secular version. He is the living model of a leader among us as servant.
We would be wise to take notice of his example; there are many among us who have attained worldly fame and power, yet live miserable lives; lives that have no joy or even spiritual fulfillment.
To experience true joy and fulfillment people must give of themselves. There is no greater joy than bringing happiness or aid to someone who is sad or in need. Power and wealth bring with them false joy, a feeling that wears off quickly. Many of us who thought that fame and money could bring us happiness have realized that there is still something missing in our lives.
It is not until we begin to serve others with our wealth and our time, that we can fully experience joy from the sight of a child’s broad smile amidst others in the rescue mission to whom we have given a part of ourselves. Then we have served God and can realize how important it is to be a servant.
- How was Jesus a servant? What qualities of service did he possess?’
- Why were the disciples so concerned about who among them was the greatest?
- Do you see the Church today in this same kind of conflict over greatness? Explain.
- What is your personal definition of success?
How Do I Act?
- Hold a workshop or have a lesson with your church’s youth fellowship on the Christian meaning of success. As junior and senior highs, they are formulating career plans and setting goals and priorities. Encourage them to know that being a servant in all of this is of prime importance.
- Think about those events which have been extremely important. Did they somehow involve service to others? Think about the feelings and outcomes of such events that made this service so important.
- Brainstorm ideas with a friend about what it means to be a servant. Write these ideas down. Covenant with one another to live according to those ideas and then sign your covenant.
- Foot-washing is often used as a symbol of service since Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. Try this ritual as a church. Or decide on another ritual or symbol that could show your service to one another.