The Servant and the King

Once when Simone was five years old, I said, “Princess, please pick up these things and take them to your room.”

Simone looked at me and replied, “I am not the princess. I am the queen.”

I responded, “Well, I thought I was the queen, and you were the princess?”

She quickly corrected me, “No, Mommy. I am the queen and you are the servant.”

A bit taken aback, I said, “Really?”

“Yes, Mommy. You cook for me. You clean for me. You wash my clothes. And you take me places. So I am the queen, and you are the servant.”

Obviously, we had to have a little “talk.” Simone spoke the truth, for I did do all of those things, yet the conclusion she came to as a result of those facts were not accurate.

Likewise, a lot of people saw the facts of Jesus’ life:

• He was not the legitimate son of Joseph.
• He was a blue-collar worker, a carpenter.
• He was a man of poverty by earthly standards.

People saw these “true” facts about Jesus but still came to the wrong conclusion.

“The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve,
and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20:28

The Son of Man, the God of the universe, the Creator of all things, Jesus . . . came not to be served, but to serve. He was the ultimate example of a Servant, but He was also the King of kings.

Most parents wonder what their kids will be when they grow up. Most parents dream about their kids’ futures. But Mary knew. Her son would be King.

Mary had some facts of her own:

• The archangel Gabriel told her that God will give Jesus the throne of David.
• Three wise men showed up in Bethlehem and said they came to worship the new King of the Jews.
• The prophet Simeon announced that Jesus was the promised Messiah.

Knowing these facts must have been a source of comfort during those long decades when she would continue to be misunderstood. But a time was coming in Mary’s life when even the facts that she knew would not add up.

Mary had every reason to believe that her son would be King. But that someday never came. At least not the way she thought it would. Not the way anybody thought it would. Who could imagine any parent being asked to raise a perfect sinless child just to watch him, as an innocent man, be tortured and murdered?

Mary watched the people cruelly mock her son and make fun of Him. She saw them rip the flesh off his back as they flogged Him. She watched the soldiers beat her son beyond recognition. She watched them nail her boy to a crossbeam of wood and raise Him high so everyone could watch Him suffer.

Mary watched a soldier pierce Jesus’ side with a sword just to make sure He was really dead. At that moment, they might as well have pierced Mary with a sword too. Simeon’s haunting words came true.

“And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” – Luke 2:35b

With everything Mary knew to be true, these facts didn’t add up. What sense did it make? Why would she be asked to endure her own humiliation and devote her entire adult life to raise a son just to have Him be slaughtered? It must have seemed like such a waste of her life. Not to mention a waste of His.

When Simone said to me that she was the queen, and I was the servant, I think Mary must have had the same idea. Wasn’t her son Jesus supposed to be the King, and his mom the servant? Hadn’t Mary done everything that was asked of her?

With the crucifixion, the facts didn’t add up.

Without the resurrection, they never would.

Is there a situation in your life that doesn’t add up? That doesn’t make sense?

On Good Friday, we remember the crucifixion. But on this side of history, we know that Sunday is coming.

This repost is part of a series called “There’s Something About Mary.”

12 thoughts on “The Servant and the King

  1. Whenever my own circumstances don't seem to make any sense, I try to picture what it must have been like to see Jesus on the cross. Surely, at that moment, it didn't make any sense either. But we know that God sees so much more than we see!

  2. Wow, can you imagine how horrible that would have felt…and man, she must have had amazing faith to keep believing when everything she had been told was not necessarily coming true the way she thought it would.

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