Scripture: “…The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28 (NIV)

Observation: Ransom. Gr. lutron, “ransom,” “atonement,” or “recompense.” Lutron is used in the papyri of the price paid for a slave in order to make him a freeman. It is also used of money paid for redemption of a pledge. The related verb, lutro, is translated “redeem,” or “redeemed” (see Luke 24:21; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:18). Here for the first time Jesus makes a clear statement concerning the substitutionary nature of His death. This aspect of His supreme sacrifice was clearly set forth by the prophet Isaiah more than seven centuries before the time came for that sacrifice to be made (see on Isa. 53:4–6). It is true that there was an exemplary aspect to Christ’s death, but there was far more to it than that. It was first and above all else substitutionary. Otherwise Jesus could not have the power to save men from their sins (see on Matt. 1:21). For the spirit that prompted Jesus to make this great sacrifice on behalf of sinners see Phil. 2:6–8.
There is no basis whatever for the suggestion some have made that Jesus paid a “ransom” either to the devil or to God. [The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 5. 1980 (F. D. Nichol, Ed.) (466). Review and Herald Publishing Association.]

Application: If anyone ever should have been served it was Jesus. Yet, He reminded us that He came not to be served but to serve. If it was important for my Lord to live a life of service to others, how much more so should I do the same.
Volunteer?  Are you kidding me?  I barely have time to fit everything in my schedule now. Now, you want me to find time to volunteer? If we want our children to grow up to be caring adults then we must nurture that now.
Too many parents feel that it is the job of the church or the school to engage their children in volunteerism. Afterall, it seems easier to pay to send my child on a mission trip with the church or the school rather than spend time side by side with them involved in mission activity. Isn’t the end result the same?  Actually, research has quite a bit to say on the importance as well as the benefits of volunteering as a family unit.
Studies reveal that volunteering as a family:
• Helps families learn about social issues and provides a new perspective on the world
• Provides positive role models and passes on family values to children
• Provides new learning experiences and development of new skills for both children and adults
• Provides quality time for the family to spend together
• Increases interpersonal communication and the problem-solving abilities of family members
• Helps youth decide what they want to do with their life
(United Way. Downloaded at: http://www.unitedway.org/take-action/volunteer-as-a-family)
In other words, volunteerism as a family has numerous payoffs.  We may falsely assume that the only benefactors are those whom we serve. However, this is far from the reality. The fact is that our own family reaps the biggest reward of all!

A Prayer You May Say: Dear Lord, provide opportunities for me to serve alongside my family. Help us, as a family, to follow your example of using each of our gifts and talents to bless others. 

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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