His Servant Spirit – Session Seven
His Servant Spirit – Session Seven
In this session we are learning from the life of Jesus, exploring His servant spirit.
Buy the book
100 Stand Alone Bible Studies

Bible Passages

Mark 8:34 (also Luke 9:23; Matthew 16:24)

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

Mark 8:34

Mark 10:42–45

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Mark 10:42–45

Luke 17:7–10

“Suppose one of you has a servant ploughing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”

Luke 17:7–10

John 13:12–17

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.

“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord’, and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

John 13:12–17


There is hardly a page of the Gospels you can open without coming across either direct teaching from Jesus, or an example from his life, about the servant spirit that is to be at the core of our discipleship.

This was massively important to Jesus, and without it we cannot be his followers at all. On one occasion we read of his disciples arguing about which of them was the greatest: “Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, ‘Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all’” (Mark 9:35). The “sitting down” indicates this to be a teaching, a serious instruction.

In his parables of the kingdom, Jesus speaks often of God as a master and of
human beings as his servants. In teaching about the servant spirit, he tells us that we are to be humble and obedient servants of God, asking no reward but to do the Father’s will, which was how Jesus himself lived. But he asks us to go further than that, and extend the attitude of the servant spirit towards each other, humbly accepting the lowest place and the most menial tasks.

Not only will doing this make our homes and communities loving and
harmonious, it will also protect our faith. So often people bitterly denounce God and turn away from him because of adversity, disappointment, or tragedy in their lives. They see God as a resource or commodity, there to ensure their personal happiness: the centre of their lives is themselves, not God. On one occasion, reporting at Sunday-morning church on a tent mission, one of the team said, “God was really working for us last night!” He saw no incongruity in his words. It is important for us to get things the right way round – only with God as master, and ourselves as humble servants, can we ever find contentment and peace.



O God our Father, how can we thank you enough for Jesus our Master and Lord, who came among us as a humble servant to set us free from sin and show us how to live in peace with one another? By your grace at work in our hearts, may we find the strength of spirit to humble ourselves as he did, and live as your faithful servants, kindly and cheerfully serving each other. For we ask it in Jesus’ holy name; Amen.