By Edd Sterchi
From a rather obscure person from a generally overlooked section of Scripture comes an important biblical principle. After giving His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus healed a leper (Matt. 8:1-4) and a centurion’s servant (Matt. 8:5-13). Then in verses 14 and 15 of Matthew chapter 8, we read, “Now when Jesus had come into Peter’s house, He saw his wife’s mother lying sick with a fever. So He touched her hand, and the fever left her. And she arose and served them.” From the actions of Peter’s unnamed mother-in-law, we learn this principle: We are saved to serve.
Burton Coffman in his commentary of Matthew says of this incident: “Peter’s mother-in-law attested the completeness of her healing by rising at once to minister to the Lord. No blessing of any kind, physical or spiritual, is intended solely for the benefit of the recipient. People are saved to save others. Those who were healed were healed to serve others!”
This principle is also clearly brought forth in Eph. 2:8-10: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” We are not saved to sit, we were saved to be active. We are not saved to be served, we are saved to serve. Indeed, let us always remember that we were created anew in Christ so that we may show the love of Christ to others. The world may never see Christ until they see Him living through our love and service.
Has God blessed you? Then bestow blessings upon others. Has God helped you? Then heap helpings upon others. Has God delivered you? Has God been good to you? Then deliver goodness to others. Jesus said that the second greatest commandment was closely tied to the first: to love your neighbor as you love yourself (Matt. 22:39). Let’s all make better efforts at better serving in the name of Christ.
“For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” (Heb. 6:10)
- Edd Sterchi preaches for the Broadway Church of Christ in Campbellsville, KY. He may be contacted through the congregation's website.