Gotta Serve Somebody

cheerful handsome waiter standing at food track counter

Gotta Serve Somebody

You may be a preacher with your spiritual pride
You may be a city councilman taking bribes on the side
You may be workin’ in a barbershop, you may know how to cut hair
You may be somebody’s mistress, maybe somebody’s heir

Still, you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

– Bob Dylan

Mr. Dyan had just openly said he’d become a Christian at the time this song came out. The first time I heard Dylan sing “Gotta Serve Somebody” I thought his verses were just throw-aways and his point was that we all have to serve somebody. But, over the years, I’ve developed an appreciation for those silly or, at least, eccentric verses. 

In “Gotta Serve Somebody” Dylan is saying that no matter who you are or think you are, from the homeless to dictators of nations you can’t be the “alpha dog”. Since we’re Adam’s seed we either serve the devil or Jesus. Those are the only two options the sons and daughters of Adam have.

You see, “Gotta Serve Somebody” sits on top of a solid Biblical truth. Though said in different ways throughout the Bible, we find this openly declared in 2 Peter 2:19 (NIV), which reads, “They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for ‘people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.’”

So, a
re you a servant of Jesus? You aren’t unless you’ve received Jesus as your Lord and Savior and been regenerated. To say that another way – “…you must be born again.” (John 3:7 NIV) Right up front, the Apostle Paul lets us know whom he serves in Romans 1:1  (NIV), “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God – ” He is a servant of Jesus. 

As Christians, we are servants of Jesus. Before our rebirth, we were servants of the devil for he is “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4 NIV)

It’s a good and comforting feeling to know we belong to the Creator of compassion. The world is full of oppressed people whose master thrills in their suffering. That’s why Jesus gave us “The Great Commission” in Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV) which says, “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Prayer: Lord Jesus I ask that nothing would have a higher place in my life than you. Teach me to know my place and to rest in Your righteousness, power, mercy, and grace. You know my fears, you see my tears and you hear my cry for your calling to work its way in me, through me, and out into others. I am your servant, Jesus, and I listen for your call. Amen.

Video of Bob Dylan singing "Serve Somebody"
Youtube: Bob Dylan singing “Serve Somebody”
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