When you were really young, how did you respond to the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Were you going to be an astronaut? A teacher? A firefighter? Maybe you didn’t care what you were going to be, other than to just be rich...or famous! If someone would have asked Jesus (and maybe they did), he would have answered, “A servant.” He came to serve, not to be served. To Jesus, being a servant meant a life of knowing the Father and fulfilling the greatest commandments: to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself.
He lived his life to give away. He never accumulated material wealth or possessions; he wasn’t a status-builder—his profile on Instagram and LinkedIn would have been understated, but those around him would have stories of miraculous works and selfless acts. He gave generously of everything he had...his time, his talents, and his resources.
He sat for hours upon hours with people who had questions about his life, he attended dinners and weddings, and he walked and talked for days to teach about the essence of love and the kingdom of God. Jesus healed, calmed storms, fed thousands, and forgave sins. His greatest resource was his life, which he gave up in a final act of service and sacrifice.
Jesus modeled service and stewardship. Stewardship, the management of God’s resources, gives one the margin to focus outside of one’s own wants and desires and to bring attention to God’s provision and sustaining grace. Jesus talked about the dangers of accumulating wealth for the sake of wealth alone. He preached about living with humility and showing mercy to others. His message was clear about how to engage with the world in a healthy and peaceful way. He said to give your first and best cheerfully to the Lord, give generously to the poor, visit and bring hope to the prisoners, lift up and advocate for the marginalized to help end injustices, and feed the hungry. These ways of love can only be accomplished by a commitment to steward faithfully and serve sacrificially.