Things in God’s kingdom are often an upside-down version of the way that people are expecting them to be. We only have to look at Jesus to see the truth in that. At the time of His birth in Bethlehem, most of Israel had started to imagine a Saviour who would come galloping triumphantly into the picture on a chariot, ready to win a decisive military victory against the Romans. Instead, Jesus grew up to ride peacefully into Jerusalem on an old borrowed donkey, giving His own life for victory over death. He saved everyone, but not in the way they imagined. One major thing that Jesus’ life on earth teaches us is how to serve. How to be humble. How to be last, so that we can win in the real sense of the word. Philippians 2:7 tells us that Jesus ‘made himself nothing, by taking the very nature of a servant’ (NIV), even serving His own followers by washing their feet (take a look at John 13). Jesus’ decision to live such a humble life, and eventually die in the biggest act of service known to mankind, is such an important lesson. It was only through His humility that the battle against death was won. We can see in Him how to throw away any worry of our own ranking and simply love and serve those around us, which is exactly what makes God’s plan work. In His kingdom, the servants win the victories that change the world. When we usher in God’s kingdom by casting our own ego aside and focusing on putting others first, we’ll find ourselves at His right hand, making the difference that He wants to see among His people.
Spend some time reading the whole of John 13, reflecting particularly on how Jesus showed such an act of service, even to those He knew would betray Him. How can you reflect that in your own life today?