Jesus said, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, there is no one who has given up a house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, who will not receive a hundred times as much now in the present age—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms—along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last, first.”
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of sacrifice. This is the foundation of our redemption and reconciliation to the Father, that the Son would give all in order to open the door for us. Through his sacrifice on the cross and the human life He led to that point, Jesus showed his servant’s heart by making himself lowly for a time. The perfect Son of God, the King of kings and Lord of lords, left his high place and took on the body of a man in this imperfect world. He placed himself in a position to suffer what a God should not suffer. And having full power to relieve himself of this suffering, He chose to endure it for our sake. After his death, resurrection and ascension, Jesus Christ is now seated at the right hand of the Father and will soon return to reign over this world. He was treated on Earth as if He were the lowest, but He has been elevated by the Father to the place of the highest.
What Jesus understood about being a servant is that there is a time when this is required of us, but it is only for a time. God does not ask us to put ourselves last forever, and He does not ask us to sacrifice forever. This service that He wants us to give the world is only while we live in this world. And although we do not serve for the purpose of being rewarded, our Father in heaven has promised us this. Jesus says in today’s scripture that we should not fear or worry what we lose in our sacrifice of service in this world because we will be rewarded many times over. We must be willing to serve and be last for a time. While on this Earth, it is not for us to seek to be first. We must be willing to wait during the time when we are asked to serve and be the last, and God will step in and act when it is time to make us first. However, our waiting should not focus on the reward to come but on the service to be done.
We will be asked by God to do some things in this life that seem rather difficult and at times impossible. We will be asked to humble ourselves and occupy positions that make us uncomfortable or that we naturally believe are below us. Some of us may feel overwhelmed by the type or amount of service that God requests of us. And though we may need to sacrifice our time and autonomy to serve as God requires, this is only for a time. This life and all that comprises it is a vapor. If we believe these true words of scripture, then we understand that our sacrifice of service during this time is really very minuscule compared to the eternity with God to come. With the right perspective, we realize that we never sacrificed much at all. Father, help us understand that what we give to serve You is so much less than You deserve, and thank You for the incredibly abundant reward that You give us for this service.