Jesus Is a Servant

by: Bill Bratt


Have you ever wondered why there are four gospel accounts in the New Testament?

Jesus carefully chose His 12 disciples to be witnesses of His resurrection. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were witnesses of Jesusí life, message, death and resurrection. As witnesses, they are offering official testimony and evidence to the jury, which is you and me. As the jury, we must read their testimony and believe it to be true. If a witness bears false testimony, he could be charged with perjury and be sent to jail.

We, as the jury, must realize that the testimony of all four witnesses may not and should not agree, word for word. If all four witnessesí testimony were identical, word for word, we the jury would conclude that the truth was being tampered with and that someone was lying.

We also must realize that the testimony of these four witnesses were given fifteen to sixty years after the ascension of Jesus. Each testimony will vary a little in detail as to the exact sequence of events. They didnít have tape recorders at that time to record the exact words of Jesus. They had to rely upon the inspiration of the holy spirit and their memories for their testimonies.

Another point that we must realize is that each of the four witnesses is giving his testimony from his point of view. Matthew wrote from the point of view that "Jesus is King", Markís emphasis was that "Jesus was a servant", Lukeís point of view was on "Jesus as man" and Johnís emphasis was that "Jesus is God".

In this article, we will focus on Markís emphasis in that Jesus was a Servant!

Jesus as a Servant

Luke records in the book of Acts that Jesus was a servant. Letís notice a couple of passages: "The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go" (Acts 3:13 ). Letís continue in verse 26: "To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities." (See also Acts 4:27,30, Rom 15:8).

What is a Servant

Websterís Dictionary defines "servant" as: "one that serves others , a public servant; especially, one that performs duties about the person or home of a master or personal employer".

Jesus was a servant to God the Father and to all of mankind. We have already quoted Acts 3:13 that shows that Jesus was the servant of God. Jesus was also the servant of all mankind. Jesus serves us in many capacities as our Lord, Saviour, Deliverer, Redeemer, Friend, Brother, Guardian, Shepherd, King, Mediator, Master, Healer, Messiah, Apostle and High Priest. (Request our article: "Jesus is Your: " which goes into many scriptures showing how important Jesus is to your salvation.)

An Example of a Servant

Letís notice what is expected of a servant: "And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, 'Come at once and sit down to eat'? {8} "But will he not rather say to him, 'Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink'? {9} "Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. {10} "So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do'" (Luke 17:7-10 ).

The servant is to serve the master first and to do his work immediately.

The word "immediately" appears 108 times in the whole Bible and 36 times in the book of Mark in the New King James Version of the Bible. In the King James Version the word "immediately" appears 17 times and the synonym "straightway" appears 19 times. We can see that one third of the occurrences in the Bible of the word "immediately" occurs in the book of Mark which gives credence to Markís theme of "Jesus being a servant".

The Gospel of Mark

Letís notice the servant aspect of "Jesus as a servant" in the first chapter of Mark: "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. {2} As it is written in the Prophets: "Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You"" (Mark 1:1-2 ).

Notice that God is sending His Son as a messenger with a job to do.

Verse 10: "And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove"

This was at the end of Johnís ministry and the beginning of Jesusí ministry. Notice how a servant is busy and constantly on the move.

Verse 12: "Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness." Matthew and Luke say in their accounts that the Spirit led Him into the desert; a king or a man is led, but Mark implies that the servant is sent.

Verse 29: "Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John."

Jesusí ministry was beginning in Galilee and there was no time for leisure in a servantís schedule. Jesus and His disciples went "immediately" from the synagogue to the house of Simon (Peter).

Verse 30: "But Simon's wife's mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once."

As soon as Jesus arrived in the house of Peter he had a task to perform.

Verse 35: "Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed."

A servant needs to get up early in order to have enough time to complete his tasks. Jesus had to arise early in order to be alone and have time to pray to God.

Verse 38: "But He said to them, "Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.""

The purpose of Jesus coming to earth was to become flesh and dwell or tabernacle with man (John 1:14). He was to remain busy in preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. "Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, {15} and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel"" (Mark 1:14-15 ).

Verse 39: "And He was preaching in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and casting out demons. {40} Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, "If You are willing, You can make me clean." {41} Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, "I am willing; be cleansed." {42} As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed. {43} And He strictly warned him and sent him away at once."

A servant does not waste time thinking about the glory of his accomplishments, he has more work to do.

Jesus healed the leper immediately and sent him away immediately.

Verse 44: "and (Jesus) said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them." {45} However, he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the matter, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter the city, but was outside in deserted places; and they came to Him from every direction."

A servant works behind the scenes and no one realizes what kind of work is being done.

Jesus stayed out of the eye of the public after He had healed the leper.

Mark 10:45 - Key Verse in Mark

In the following passage Mark highlights Jesusí acts of service rather than His teaching ministry: "Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, "Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask." {36} And He said to them, "What do you want Me to do for you?" {37} They said to Him, "Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory." {38} But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" {39} They said to Him, "We are able." So Jesus said to them, "You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized; {40} "but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared." {41} And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John. {42} But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, "You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. {43} "Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. {44} "And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. {45} "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many"" (Mark 10:35-45 ). (See also Mark 9:35).

Jesus came to serve rather that to be served. Jesus is saying that greatness comes through serving.

Today, Jesus continues to serve His disciples before Godís throne as our Apostle and High Priest (Heb. 3:1) .

In Conclusion:

Remember that a "servant" does his work and his tasks "immediately".

Jesus came to serve rather than to be served. He served by preaching the gospel and then giving His life as a ransom for many.

Keep the point that "Jesus is a servant" in mind as you read through the book of Mark.