26a If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be.
Who does truly serve Christ? According to Christ’s own words, it is he who follows Him that truly serves Him. In the context of this passage, following Christ would mean self-sacrifice and even death. He had earlier spoken about His hour of death (v. 23; cf. v. 27) and the need to die like a corn of wheat to bear fruit that will last unto all eternity (vv. 24, 25). Without an absolute commitment (even if it would incur death) to go with Christ, one cannot truly serve Him. One should surrender himself totally to Christ’s leading to be a true servant of His name.
A true servant of Christ will fix his eyes upon his Master, avoiding all else that would distract or lure him away from Him. The servant of the Lord is most willing to serve Him with his whole heart. He will not quit attending to his Master for any consideration of wealth, rank, relationship or fame. He will also be willing to serve Him at His command in any place, in any condition and in any circumstance. He does not choose his area of service according to his own wishes and whims, but according to his Master’s will.
He has no terms or conditions in his service to the Master. He is ready to do the Lord’s work even if it would mean sacrifice and suffering. He is single-minded to know his Master’s will and fulfil it with all his strength. He is committed to follow every word of his Master and render a faithful service. The pleasure and honour of his Master is his singular passion.
He is thankful that he is allowed to be so close to the Master to serve Him. So he lovingly, diligently, enthusiastically, joyfully presents himself as a servant to his Master. He revels in his privileged opportunity to stay by his Master. With pure delight, he listens to the Lord’s voice – His commands, His counsels, His promises. The Master is everything to him.
The servant of the Lord is very grateful that he is permitted to follow Him everywhere. His joy and honour are greater than those of the great king Solomon’s servants, whose “sitting”, ”attendance” (i.e. manner of service), and “apparel” literally overwhelmed the queen of Sheba (1 Kings 10:5). Indeed, to every sincere servant of Christ, His presence and guidance are infinitely more eminent and honourable than Solomon’s glorious palace. So Christians, let us serve our Lord wherever He would lead us, be it in the church, in the home, in the school, or at work.