I used to feel entitled when it comes to serving. “I volunteer at church and I am not even given a single piece of bread.” When I work at church, we are the last one to eat – that is – if there is any food left. If there isn’t, then I’d have to buy my own food, while everyone else is eating heavy dinner.
But things have changed for me as I come to understand that this is the heart of Jesus – to serve, not to be served. To empty himself for the good of others. And slowly my sense of entitlement peeled away as He molds me into a servant leader.
Seven baskets for seven disciples
In Mark 8, Jesus feeds four thousand people from seven loaves of bread and a few fishes. After feeding the crowd, the seven disciples gathered the broken pieces of bread from the ground and gathered seven basketfuls. Jesus and his disciples left on a boat but the disciples forgot to bring the excess bread baskets. They got only one loaf which they are supposed to share among themselves.
They discussed about having no food, which is pefectly understandable because they served and are tired and hungry. But also perfectly stupid since Jesus just fed four thousand people with just seven loaves! That is multiplying the seven loaves by more than 500%! Jesus said to them, “Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened?” (Mark 8:17)
There were seven basketful of loaves because there were seven disciples.
Today, I no longer ask, “What’s in it for me?” And getting hungry is okay if it means I can have the privilege of serving others. God surely provides in basketfuls. I’ve understood the heart of servant leadership – and I believe the disciples did too.
P.S. Isn’t it amazing that there were exactly seven basketful of bread when there were seven disciples, and exactly twelve basketful of bread when there were twelve disciples? (John 6) I mean to multiply bread is a miracle in itself, but to perfectly calculate the excess is even more mindblowing.