The word ‘servant’ can have a negative connotation, but not in this Scripture. Knowing how pressures and people distract us from our God-given purpose, Paul uses the strongest possible language, doulos (meaning ‘slave’ or servant’), to remind us that we’re supposed to be servants to God’s will. Jesus loved people so much that one day He would die to redeem them, but that didn’t stop Him from saying ‘no’ when He needed to.
Pleasing and appeasing people to win their approval is never a good idea because it puts someone other than God in the driver’s seat of your life. Instead of letting Himself be side-tracked:
(1) Jesus refused to let other people’s idea of what was important keep Him from His mission;
(2) Jesus recognised that doing God’s will was more important than trying to meet everybody else’s expectations; and
(3) Jesus made prayer and uninterrupted time with His Father a top priority.
Was that easy? No, and it won’t be easy for you either! Early in His ministry when word spread about His miracles, a ‘whole town gathered… and Jesus healed many.’ (Mark 1:33–34 NIV) The next morning another crowd was waiting on His doorstep! And how Jesus responded this time might surprise you. ‘While it was still dark, Jesus… left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for Him, and when they found Him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for You!” Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else… so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”’ (Mark 1:35–38 NIV)
Jesus was a servant to God’s will, and you must be too.