Like Tevye pestering his wife in “Fiddler of the Roof” Jesus pesters us as well: “Do you love me?” He persistently needles us into action by confronting us with the most important question, for our answer to “Do you love me?” matters more than anything else.
Ministry to others is a source of great joy and of frustration. Our benevolent actions are not always appreciated. Our good intentions are sometimes misunderstood. Our personal sacrifices may go unrecognized and unrewarded. This is the reason we need a tough hide and a tender heart: that we might practice patient ministry for the good of others.
Jesus served, not in spite of being God, but because he is God. The point is clear: God is most clearly seen in servanthood. If we allow Jesus to be our chief window to God, we discover that servanthood is the most accurate reflection of God. We are never more like God than when we serve others. Jesus revealed that service is the truest expression of divine love.
Jesus’ will and determination to reach out and touch us in all our uncleanness is clear: “I do so will!” Jesus does this at great cost to himself – a cost that climaxes in the cross. We never have to second guess the breadth and width of God’s compassion. It is greater than we can fathom and reaches out beyond the boundaries we often set.