Served by… the Lord?

“[He] will come and wait on them” (Luke 12:37).
In Luke 12, the Lord is admonishing his disciples to be constantly watchful. They obey this instruction as
they continue faithfully in their service. When they diligently go about their appointed tasks, they are
proving to their Master they are ready for his appearing. Yet, even as Jesus is instructing his followers
about this, he utters some shocking words. Listen to the Savior…

“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to
return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door
for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell
you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 
(Luke 12:35-37)

This is one of those parables that if you hurry through reading it, you could easily miss an incredible truth.

Imagine what is happening. In this parable, the master is attending a wedding banquet. His faithful
servants are busily going about their work. They labor to please their lord. Suddenly a wonderful thing
happens. The master withdraws from the wedding banquet. Why? To what purpose? He returns to his
home, apparently to check on his servants. He finds them diligently working. He is so pleased with them
that he chooses to honor them in a completely unexpected way. He prepares to serve them, his own
servants (literally “slaves”). He girds himself for service. This means that he divested himself of his fine
robes and dresses simply, like a common house worker. Then he causes his servants to recline at the table as he would do with his own family. And he serves them. The master serves the household slaves. This is a truly astonishing picture of grace and loving condescension.

Kenneth Baily, author of Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes, says of this parable, “I know of no incident
in contemporary life or in a story out of the past in the Middle East where such an incredible reversal of
status appears.” The master of the house would rise to serve his guests, certainly! As we see Abraham doin Genesis 18. But not his slaves! This is unheard of.

Of course, Jesus not only taught about such humble service, He did it. Remember? He washed the feet ofHis own followers. There at the Last Supper, the Lord and Master rose from the table, girded Himself,
and assumed the role of a household slave. He served those who should have been serving Him.
Can I tell you a secret? An astounding bit of information? He still serves His servants. The Lord still
desires to lower Himself to minister to His followers. Indeed, He longs to do so. He serves each one of
His disciples. Sometimes in our pride (and yes, it is pride!), we resist the service of our Master. We act
like Peter, appearing so pious and reverential: “Master, you shall never wash my feet!” Yet the Lord’s
words are as applicable to us as they were to Peter, “If I do not wash your feet—that is, if you do not
allow me to serve you—then you have no part in Me.” So what do you need from the Lord? Do not
hesitate to ask. The Master is ready to minister to you, to meet your needs. In His exalted and divine
humility, He delights to serve.

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