Some Urgent Applicative Gleanings From Matthew 20:28

Posted: June 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

“ὥσπερ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου οὐκ ἦλθεν διακονηθῆναι, ἀλλὰ διακονῆσαι καὶ δοῦναι τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ λύτρον ἀντὶ πολλῶν.”
“Just as the Son of Man came not to be served, rather to serve and to give his life a ransom on behalf of many.”

Some urgent applicative thoughts on Matthew 20:28

To serve is to give.

ἦλθεν “[he] came”
– In English this is the word for “come/came.” Standing alone in Greek it literally is “he came.” The “he” of course is referring to Jesus.
– Jesus went to the people.
– Jesus approached people where they were in life: some where political figures, others were homeless beggars.
– He came to us, that we may go to others.

οὐκ ἦλθεν διακονηθῆναι “came not to be served”
– Jesus announces that he, the Messiah who is the King of kings, is a servant, not the one to be served.
– Overly so, this is antithetical to our world and culture. It is often a glamorous thing to be waited on and served and our culture deems famous and longs to be like those who are being served.
– Jesus calls us to serve and not to be served.

ἀλλὰ διακονῆσαι “but to serve”
– “but” denotes a contrast
– The contrast is between being served and doing the serving.

διακονῆσαι καὶ δοῦναι “to serve and to give”
– Hereon is where we find the climatic call in life from this verse and where I will close our discussion on this verse.
– διακονῆσαι “to serve” means more literally to be someone who gets something done on behalf of another, for another.
– καὶ “and” is a conjunction joining “to serve…to give” together implying here that they are one and the same –> to serve is to give.
– Hence, to serve is a call to give. But to give what?
– To give of yourself, your time, resources, energy, thoughts, words, and so forth.
– It is a call to sacrifice.
– Furthermore, this is a call to humility. If the King of glory is by far to One who should be served, but he announces he came to serve, then here is where we find in our ever proud culture the call to be humble.


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