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Diakonia StudiesCritical Issues in Ministry$
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John N. Collins

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199367573

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199367573.001.0001

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Diakonia in the Teaching of Jesus

Diakonia in the Teaching of Jesus

(p.78) 5 Diakonia in the Teaching of Jesus
Diakonia Studies

John N. Collins

Oxford University Press

Terms like diakonia occur only occasionally in the Greek gospels. The leading statement is “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve/diakon-” (Mark 10:45). Many understand this as saying Jesus came “to serve people,” “to help people.” Greek usage requires us to understand, however, that while Jesus rejects any idea of people serving him, his own service is to carry out the mission entrusted to him by his Father. Other diakon- sayings emphasize that, whereas the world works through honor and power, discipleship works in response to the Word of God at a level where power does not operate, as in the case of slaves and children (Mark 9:34–36). Luke inserts the same teaching into the discourse Jesus delivers after his last meal with the disciples (Luke 22:27). The service (diakon-) due to a king (Matthew 25:44) must not be equated to relationships within discipleship.

Keywords:   diakonia, service, discipleship, Son of Man, gospel usage

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