The Servants Knew

The Servants Knew 

Article by Brent Crenshaw
I first fell in love with the blues because of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s second appearance on Austin City Limits. I didn’t know that level of virtuosity existed. Shortly after that, I bought B.B. King’s cd boxset and fell in love for the second time. I was nineteen. Months later, I naively bought tickets to see B.B. at a venue in Memphis. At that point, he was close to 80 years old. But once the tickets came, it was a twenty-one and up entry age. He could play at 80, but I couldn’t attend at nineteen. Having just come to faith in Christ, I chose not to go the fake i.d. route. I crowded under an autumn night sky to see him at World’s Fair Park a few years later. It was the closest I’ve been to a front-row concert of anyone who mattered. I could see Lucille’s sheen when she hit the stage lights just right (Lucille is the name of his guitar). His brass section danced in step, and B.B. sang and played his guts out wearing a cabana shirt. The thrill wasn’t gone from that night.  

What’s the closest to a “front-row” experience you’ve had?

Recently, I’ve been absorbed by the Wedding of Cana (John 2). A front-row experience of Jesus’ first miracle. Jesus, the life of the party. The spiritual and banquet beggary of wine running out. Hints of Genesis – the Father creates, the Son- re-creates. Certainly, this miracle underscores the truest Wine filling earth’s deepest longings. However, I’ve remained gripped for some time over John’s parenthesis. In 2:9, it reads, “the master of the feast…did not know where the wine came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew).” The servants knew.

What is it about these servants, that had a front row to the first miracle of Jesus? The passage doesn’t tell us. It seems to imply that they knew because they were… servants.

To all of us, Moses is most known for moments of grandeur: the burning bush, the Red Sea, being portrayed by actor Charlton Heston, manna, and receiving the Ten Commandments. Yet, in Numbers 12:3, it reads, “now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.” Later the chapter states that God spoke to Moses mouth to mouth. I believe this is because God called him “my servant” (vs. 7). Moses had been raised as the prince of Egypt, but now he was God’s servant. The sheen from his face would shine from being in the presence of the Lord of Hosts (Exodus 34:29).  

Ten chapters after Jesus’ sommelier moment, Jesus said a kernel of wheat must fall and die before it becomes fruitful (John 12:23). He also taught, “the greatest among you shall be your servant,” as he criticized the religious leaders of the day, for they had been acting as posers at the place of Jewish legal law, called “Moses’ seat” (John 23:3). This doesn’t sound like the Moses above.

If you want to flourish in your wake of influence and see God’s glory, serve. Die like the wheat kernel and see what comes to life around you.

Ideas to serve:
•serve your roommate by cleaning your dorm during finals week
•serve your kids by tuning into their hobby you don’t care for
•serve your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend by the doing the chore they can’t get to
•serve your toddler with extra snuggles
•serve your boss with a card of encouragement thanking them for leading
•serve your subordinates by investing more in them than you ask them to do for you
•serve your aging parents by helping them with the technology that is outpacing them
•serve your teen by letting them play the instrument louder
•serve your friend in a tough spot by baking them muffins or taking them to lunch
•serve your church by volunteering for a role they have trouble filling

The desire we have for a front-row experience, such as a concert, manifests a lower glory on display. It is likely an indicator that our souls really long for greater glory. This greater, water-to-wine-type glory is only drawn and poured by servants, of whom Jesus is foremost.

Brent Crenshaw

Pastor of Biblical Life Counseling Ministry
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