The scriptures describe the movement of God throughout history as he is on mission to redeem humanity. The climax of this movement is the death and resurrection of his son, Jesus. But the movement and mission do not stop there. Jesus reminds us that no servant is greater than their master. Jesus served to further the mission of God and bring glory to the kingdom. He expects the same from us. Service is not an option to exercise when we feel like it or have time. It is an intricate part of who we are in Jesus.
Matthew records one of Jesus’ parables in Matthew 25:31-46. The parable describes what the judgment at the end of time will look like. It is interesting as Jesus describes the standard on which we will be judged. It is not based on our theological system, but on our actions. Did we serve others who were in need? That is the sole basis of the judgment in this parable. That is why service is not optional.
Sometimes we get so focused on what we shouldn’t do as a Jesus-follower that we forget it is also about what we do–in some ways even more so. You see, we cannot follow Jesus, pursue the heart of God, or seek his kingdom if we do not or will not serve. Why? Because God is on mission, passionately pursuing those who do not know him yet. So, if we are going to pursue the heart of God, we must pursue them as well. Jesus came as a servant. We cannot follow him if we will not serve. The kingdom turns the worldly order upside down–the first shall be last and the last shall be first. We cannot seek the kingdom if we are not willing to serve others.