The Branches - Above the Surface
Jesus said ‘sell everything you have… and you will have treasure in heaven...’ Mark 10:21
He needed to submit his kingdom to God’s Kingdom. In Matthew 6:19-24 Jesus taught us that we must be one Kingdom people – ‘No-one can serve two masters…’.
By storing our treasures in heaven, we recognize that all we have here on earth is God’s; we are merely stewards. In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus uses the Parable of the Talents to teach us the quality of being a faithful Kingdom Steward.
‘The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’‘ Matthew 25:20-21 (NIV)
Our discipleship is expressed in the way we serve within the Kingdom of God. A Kingdom Servant is defined as someone who gives themselves to others for their benefit through the loving, thoughtful, active promotion of their wellbeing and the causes of God in our world.
As disciples of Jesus, we are inspired by the way Jesus served. Jesus’ death on the cross was the greatest act of service the world has ever seen. Jesus demonstrated perfectly that service is a function not a status. (Philippians 2: 5-11) He did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but he made himself a servant, was obedient to his Father and died on the cross for us.
This servant quality is powerfully displayed when Jesus washed the disciples feet (John 13:1-17) and said ... ‘I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you’ v15.
As healthy disciples, we will seek to serve the Kingdom of God through personal security in who God says we are and from a perspective where grace abounds towards others.In Matthew 10 Jesus reminds us that every act of service, even small ones, are important...
‘This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s bestto start small. Give a coolcup of water to someone whois thirsty, for instance.The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t loseout on a thing." Matthew 10:41-42 (MSG)
The overriding principle behind all acts of service is to do everything as if we were doing it for Jesus himself. Matthew 25:31-46 reinforces this notion by confirming that everything we do, or choose not to do, will have eternal consequences when we stand before Jesus to give an account of how we have lived our lives. ‘Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40 (NIV)