Not to Be Served but to Serve

29As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. 31He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.–Mark 1:29-31

At first glance, it doesn’t seem like much.

Simon’s mother-in-law is a woman like many others, serving the way many women do.

But she is also serving the way the angels have done: ministering to Jesus in her home as angels ministered to him while he was being tempted in the wilderness.

She is serving the way the women at the cross will do: ministering to Jesus in Capernaum as those women will minister to him on the road.

She is serving the way Jesus urges all his disciples to do, the way Jesus himself will serve: for even “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve.”

The healed woman is nameless, and speechless, and soon to be left behind.  But in her service, she understands and embodies the ideal of discipleship that Simon and Andrew, James and John, will never get quite right.

“Everyone is searching for you,” says the breathless Simon, urging Jesus to return to Capernaum, to bask in his popularity as a great healer.

“Have some more cake,” says the beaming mother-in-law, ministering to Jesus as he has ministered to her.

This week, let’s take the time to notice those who serve us in small ways.  If it’s your thing, appreciate those helping hands as the hands of Jesus.  Know that as he lifted up this woman, he lifts us up, too.

Thanks be to God!



Filed under Ministry Matters

2 responses to “Not to Be Served but to Serve

  1. Jenny Olsztynski

    Great sermon Maggie. So important for all of us to remember whether we are being of service or being served.


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