Mark – Revealing Our Ideal Servant

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the Gospel of Mark, we see Jesus Christ as the ideal servant who displayed and revealed the epitome of what it is to be a servant of God in his service to his fellow man.

Jesus Christ, God’s servant in the Gospel of Mark, was prophesied in Zechariah 3:8: “behold, I {God} will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.” The “branch” is the offspring of God, and God calls Jesus Christ “my servant” because throughout his life he served God unconditionally while continually giving his life in service to his fellow man.

Jesus displayed what was considered in the first century to be the lowest earthly position that a man could have (a servant), yet by doing so, Jesus showed to humanity the limits of what he was willing to do to redeem men and women back to God.

In Mark there is no genealogy recorded because a servant has no social standing based on his ancestors, but is rather accredited only by the service he would do.

In Mark’s Gospel there is very little fanfare in the form of salutations, and there are no details regarding his birth. In the first chapter (verse 9) Jesus goes right to work in his ministry as he served man with an inner quality of heavenly dignity.

Mark 10:43-45:
– 43: But so shall it not be among you {lording over people}: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister {your servant}:
-44: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
-45: For even the Son of man {Jesus Christ} came not to be ministered unto {not to have people serve him}, but to minister {to serve as a servant}, and to give his life a ransom for many.

What caused this discourse that Jesus was having with his Apostles was that some of them wanted Jesus simply to grant them the highest positions as favors. When the other Apostles found out what they wanted Jesus to do for them, they all began arguing about who would be privileged in Jesus’ eyes to have the high positions.

Jesus began to teach them as only the servant of servants could teach, because he was their example as well as ours of what an ideal servant really is. He taught them that the more one would serve with the heart of service, then the greater or “the chiefest” he would become.

Then Jesus explains his own ministry (in verse 45), and how far Jesus would go in service, “to give his life a ransom for many.” The word “minister” literally means that the service one would render to another would be the kind of service that would bring benefits to both the recipient and the giver. Our English word deacon comes from the Greek word “minister,” which is used in the above verses.

In the Epistle of Ephesians, we see that no matter whether we work as a sanitary engineer or a NASA engineer, we could always look to the life of Jesus Christ and see the greatest example of a servant.

Ephesians 6:5-8:
-5: Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh {our bosses in the secular world}, with fear {respect and reverence} and trembling {having an eager concern to please}, in singleness of your heart, as {working, or serving} unto Christ;
-6: Not with eye-service, as menpleasers {making sure that someone sees you working}; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
-7: With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: {Because we are servants of God in the sense that we want to please Him, men will obviously benefit as well.}
-8: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord {because we reap what we sow, Galatians 6:9}, whether he be bond or free.

We are in Christ’s stead today and as we discover God’s prophesied servant, Jesus Christ (Isaiah 42:1) exemplified in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus can reveal to us the spiritual realities that the greatest freedom in all of this life comes to men and women proportionally to their service for God in love. “As free, and not using your liberty {of spiritual freedom} for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God” (I Peter 2:16).

The Bible teaches that we are the children of God, His sons and daughters; however, as His beloved children we can become servants to our fellow man. With God’s calling and blessings, we are indeed His children and He is our Father; this is our vertical relationship to Him, however, horizontally to one another our relationships can be in service.

On account of us being the children of God, we may expect His blessings as we serve Him through following the examples of Our Ideal Servant – Jesus Christ.