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(all Scripture references are found in the Gospel of Mark)

by Barry L. Davis

1. Jesus served by Discipling

— by teaching others to become "fishers of men" (1:16-20)

— by calling Matthew to follow (2:14)

— by allowing his disciples to enjoy his company (2:18-22)

— by commissioning the twelve to preach and cast out demons (3:14-19: 6:7-13)

— by giving his disciples courage (6:50)

— by teaching his disciples about the yeast of the Herods and Pharisees (8:15-21)

2. Jesus served by Teaching

— others to become "fishers of men" (1:16-20)

— with authority (1:21-22, 27)

— throughout Galilee (1:39)

— to those in the crowded house (2:2)

— the true meaning of the Sabbath (2:27-28)

— who true family is (3:22-35)

— servanthood through the parable of the sower (4:1-20)

— servanthood by explaining the parable of the sower to his disciples (4:10-20)

— servanthood by teaching reaping and sowing principles (4:24-25)

— so that his disciples could understand (4:33-34)

— the difference between what is clean and unclean (7:14-23)

— the disciples about the yeast of the Pharisees and Herod (8:15-21)

3. Jesus served by Healing

— the man possessed by a demon (1:23-26)

— Simon's mother-in-law so she could serve also (1:30-31)

— the sick and casting out demons (1:32-34)

— the demon possessed in Galilee (1:39)

— a leper (1:40-44)

— the paralytic lowered through the roof (2:3-12)

— the paralytic of his sins (2:5)

— the man with the withered hand (3:1-6)

— many with diseases (3:10)

— the demon possessed (3:11)

— the Gerasene demoniac (5:1-20)

— Jairus' daughter and the woman with the issue of blood (5:21-43)

— the multitudes (6:54-56)

— the Syrophonician woman's daughter (7:24-30)

— the deaf and mute man (7:31-37)

— the blind man of Bethsaida (8:22-26)

4. Jesus served by Fellowship

— with John the Baptist (1:9-10)

— with the disciples at Simon and Andrew's house (1:29)

— with tax collectors and "sinners" at Levi's house (2:15-17)

— with his disciples in general (2:19-20)

— with his disciples on the mountainside (3:13-19)

— with his disciples as he sends them out on a mission (6:7-13)

— with his disciples when they returned from their journey (6:30-32)

5. Jesus served by Submission

— to John's baptism (1:9-11)

— to the wilderness temptation (1:13)

— to the Father in prayer (1:35; 6:46)

— to rest (6:31-32)

— to the residents of the Gerasene region when asked to leave (5:17-18)

6. Jesus served by Amazement

— at his teaching in Capernaum (1:22)

— at his power to cast out demonic spirits (1:27)

— at his healing of the paralytic (2:12)

— at his power over nature (4:41)

— at his teaching in the Synagogue (6:2)

— at his healing of the deaf mute (7:37)

7. Jesus served by Ministering to the Crowds

— at Simon and Andrew's house (1:33)

— at the healing of the paralytic (2:2)

— at the Sea of Galilee (3:7-9; 4:1-2)

— at the feeding of the 5,000 (6:34-44)

— at the teaching on clean and unclean (7:14)

— at the feeding of the 4,000 (8:1-10)


Jesus' very presence on earth in the form of man proves that he came to serve. What other reason could there be for leaving the perfect world from which he came to live with sinners, fools, and those who just could not bring themselves to understand? There is not a moment during Jesus' stay on this planet that is not filled with some form of ministry. Servanthood was what he modeled and taught and confused his disciples with. Jesus spent his time with those most of us would choose to ignore, or at least pretend we hadn't noticed them along the side of the road. Being the Messiah meant being a servant. A true Deliverer is not one who comes and fights with military might against all the evils of society. A true Deliverer reaches out to those who have been effected by the sinful society in which they live and lends them a helping hand. He shows them by what he does and what he says that he is not in it for money, or fame, or glory, but he is involved in servanthood because that is his very nature. Jesus touched lives by getting involved in those lives. He didn't turn away from people's problems, he gave them solutions. Jesus was the very definition of what a godly man must be: a strong servant, ready at all times to seek out the Father's will in working through, and in, the lives of the people.


We live in an age where servanthood is something to be avoided at all costs. This is true in society and it is also true in the church. If you look around the church on a given Sunday you will find very few servants, but plenty of people wanting to be noticed. People want to be patted on the back and told, "good job", simply because they made a great effort in getting up and making their way to church on Sunday morning. They glory in perfect Sunday school attendance and having the best casserole at the fellowship dinner. Yet, on their way to Sunday school they pass by the dregs of society and turn the other way. While they are feasting there are children down the street who have nothing to eat. And while we as a church sometimes feel we are making great strides because attendance is up, when we look around at the society we live in we must come to the conclusion that the church is not doing its job. Jesus served. The church must serve. Jesus fed the hungry. The church must feed the hungry. Jesus healed the sick. The church must heal the sick. Jesus preached the Word. The church must preach the Word. Jesus prayed. The church must pray. None of these things are options for us. If we are to be the church of Jesus Christ then we must imitate Jesus Christ. The building program might be necessary and good, but the man without a house has other things on his mind. If we are to tap into our society and turn sinners into saints we must begin by becoming servants to the sinners. Jesus' call to his disciples is the same call that he is sounding out to the church today, "Come, follow me" (Mark 1:17).