Unlike most influential, celebrity types, Jesus' description of Himself doesn't sound like the popular hype we've grown accustomed to hearing. Jesus was a servant, not a superstar.
Insight for Today
Written by Chuck Swindoll, these encouraging devotional thoughts are published seven days per week.
Because the path of servanthood is so perilous, we need to cultivate a sensitive walk with God marked by obedience.
In recent posts, I have written about God's servants feeling used and unappreciated, experiencing undeserved disrespect and resentment, and having hidden greed—a desire to be rewarded.
Exposed and sternly judged, Gehazi experienced a horrible punishment—leprosy (5:25-27). Gehazi had not only gone against the decision of the prophet, he had lied to him when confronted with his deeds.
As a pastor, counsellor, and seminary chancellor, I have often found myself in an unpopular spot. An individual who has come to me pours out his or her soul. And God very clearly leads me to confront or point out a few specifics that the person finds rather painful to hear, not to mention accept.
God may be using your words to help the hearers "come to their senses," which may sound very noble. But, believe me, there are times it's not a lot to write home about.
God's true servant is like the Lord Jesus, who came not "to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45).
For a servant named Gehazi, working alongside a high-profile, greatly respected prophet like Elisha was a privilege. But at the same time, it was a particular position that brought about unique temptations.
Afflicted. Perplexed. Persecuted. Struck down. These terms reflect the struggles common to all of us. Under stress, confused, pursued, rejected—Paul (and every servant since his day) understands what it means to endure the constant blast of problems.
To some folks, serving others sounds as safe and harmless as a poached egg on a plate. What could possibly be perilous about it? Plenty.