Servant of All


*†† (Mat 23:11-12 NIV)The greatest among you will be your servant. {12} For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.


This verse and many others like it set before us how we serve God by serving each other. We will look a bit further into this in a little bit. But first, we need to set forth some definitions and look more closely at the term servant.


Strangely, the KJV never used the word slave in the New Testament and only used it once in the Old Testament. NIV and RSV on the other hand used the term slave over 30 times in the New Testament and about 50 times in the Old Testament. So what is going on?


King James uses terms such as, servant, bondman or bondwoman or maidservant. Here is the one place KJV uses the term slave.

*†† (Jer 2:14 KJV)Is Israel a servant? is he a homeborn slave? why is he spoiled?

The odd thing here is that the word slave is not even in the Hebrew text, it is a supplied word by the translators! So letís define these words.



1. One bound in servitude as the property of a person or household.


1.      One who is employed to perform services. One who serves.


Now letís see if we are slaves and, if so, to whom? Does anyone actually own us?

*†† (1 Cor 6:19-20 NIV)Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; {20} you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

The answer is clearly settled by scripture. We belong to the Lord. He bought us with His blood! So it turns out we ought to serve everyone (that is be a servant) but we are to be a slave only to our Lord. No one else has the rights to us that He has. But we are expected to serve God by serving others. Here are two more verses to make the point clear.

*†† (Mark 9:35 NIV)Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all."

*†† (Heb 3:5 NIV)Moses was faithful as a servant in all God's house, testifying to what would be said in the future.


OK, here is another point we need to understand. There is a difference between, ďServiceĒ and Disservice.ĒThe good servant does good deeds. And, by the way, good is not necessarily what someone wants. Good is what the Lord wants for them! We donít always know good from bad. Here is a story to illustrate that point. The story has many variances depending on who is telling the tale. This is one I like.


Once upon a time there was a farmer who had some land a ways outside the village.
He had a son to help him and one good horse. Indeed, it was a magnificent horse.
So magnificent, that when the King passed through the village, he heard about the
horse and asked to see it.

The King was so impressed that he offered the farmer a considerable amount of
gold for the horse. But the farmer would not part with his horse, and the King went away.

The next day, the horse ran away! The villagers rushed to the farmer and exclaimed, "Oh, how awful. Your horse is gone and you don't have the gold! What a bad thing has happened to you!" The Farmer replied, "Well, I don't know that it's a bad thing, but I do know
my horse is gone and that I don't have the gold."

A few days later, the Farmer's horse returned. And, not only did the horse come back,
he brought six wild and beautiful horses with him. Each would be worth a great
sum once they were broken and trained. When the villagers heard, they rushed out to see the horses and to say to the Farmer, "Oh, you were right! It was not a bad thing that your horse ran away. Now he has returned and brought you six more fine horses. It is a good thing!""I don't know if it's a good thing or not," the Farmer said. "I just know that my horse has come back and brought me six more horses."

The following day the Farmer's son was trying to break one of the wild horses and
he fell off and broke both his legs. Again the Villagers visited the Farmer and
they exclaimed, "Oh, you were right! It was a bad thing that your horse came
back with six more horses. Now, your son has broken both legs and cannot help you
with your crops. Surely you will suffer great losses. Oh, what a bad thing!" And the Farmer said, "Well, I don't know whether it's a bad thing or not. I only know that my son was thrown from a horse and that both his legs are broken."

The next day the King returned to the village. He was leading his soldiers to the
border where the kingdom was engaged in a terrible battle with a neighboring country
The enemy was fierce and most of the young soldiers were marching to their death. As the King passed through the village he rounded up all the young men to join in the fighting. Of course, the Farmer's son, with his broken legs, did not have to go.

After the King and his men left, the Villagers rushed to the Farmer and exclaimed,
"Oh, you were right! It was a good thing that your son fell off the horse and
broke his legs. Now he will certainly not die in this war, as will so many other young men. The Farmer replied, "Well, I don't know if it's a good thing, or not. But I know that my son did not have to go with the King to fight this battl


The moral of the story from a Bible perspective is this. Do the best you can for yourself and your fellow man but donít think you need to declare every event as good or bad. Just serve God and serve others with prayer and love. You donít know what the outcome may be but God does. Go where God leads and do what God says. Be a servant of all!