As I’ve been pondering Christ’s life this Easter week, I’ve been thinking of ways to follow Him, serving others, keeping the commandments, praying, reading scriptures, the usual stuff.
Another thought kept coming into my mind: Gracefully receiving the service of others. He showed the way, even here.
His apostles tried to stop the woman from using expensive ointment on Him, He did not refuse. He told them it was a good thing for her to provide that service. It was also for that good woman. He knew she would gain the feeling that can only come from serving others. Think of how you felt when someone refused your service. Maybe that hasn’t happened to you, but I can say from personal experience—it stings.
Also, He didn’t have a place to sleep, nor food to eat without relying on others. That doesn’t mean we should expect others to provide for us what we can provide for ourselves. He labored hard in service of all mankind. What he was doing during his ministry has eternal consequences for all humanity. They called him the Carpenter, so I think it’s safe to assume he built things to earn his bread before that time. However, during this stage of his life, he was willing to let others serve Him.
The third and final item I’m going to mention is his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. He knew what needed to be done. He didn’t shrink and say he didn’t need a donkey, and insist he could walk. He sent for the donkey prepared to carry him into the city. As people put down their cloaks and palm leaves, He didn’t rebuke them, or falsely tell them he didn’t deserve it. He knew hard things lay ahead—harder than any of us will ever know.
He didn’t allow pride seep into his perfection. When the woman wanted to anoint him, he didn’t come off with a fake sense of pride that he wasn’t worthy of such a thing. When he needed bread, he didn’t let pride get in the way of allowing others to feed him. He knew who he was, and that in order to fulfill prophesy, he accepted the adoration and honor of that triumphal entry.
Pride is a sneaky thing. Often receiving is harder than giving. I wonder if someone spent his or her life refusing to receive gifts and help from others if they would turn down the mansions He offers them. This life is where we learn how to serve others, and need to search for those opportunities. It’s also a time to learn how to receive graciously: Otherwise how can we receive the greatest gift of all—the atonement of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer.