Examples of Serving Others in the Bible

Serving others is a core teaching throughout the Bible. Jesus himself said that he “did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10:45). As followers of Christ, we are called to serve one another and those in need. Here are some key examples in Scripture that demonstrate what it means to serve others:


Loving and serving others is at the very heart of the gospel. As Christians, we follow the example of Jesus, who gave up his life to serve humanity and bring salvation. The Bible encourages us to be servants who humbly put others first.

When we serve, we reflect God’s love and care for people. We also grow in Christlike character as we demonstrate sacrifice, generosity, and compassion. Biblical service involves both meeting physical needs and sharing spiritual truths.

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Here are three key takeaways on serving others from God’s Word:

  • Serving reflects Christ’s servant leadership and sacrificial love
  • Serving meets practical needs and shows compassion
  • Serving includes sharing the gospel and making disciples

This blog post will provide many examples of serving others throughout Scripture. We’ll see how godly men and women served their families, communities, the poor, the oppressed, and the lost. May these biblical models inspire us to humble service that glorifies God.

Examples of Serving Others in the Bible

Old Testament Examples of Serving Others

Here are some Old Testament examples of serving God and others:

Abraham’s Hospitality to Strangers

In Genesis 18, Abraham showed hospitality to three strangers who came to his tent. Abraham humbled himself and served his guests. He provided water to wash their feet and had Sarah prepare a meal. Abraham did not know these men were actually angels! His generous service illustrates how we should graciously welcome and care for strangers we encounter.

He said, “My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant. Please let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. And I will bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh your hearts. After that you may pass by, inasmuch as you have come to your servant.” They said, “Do as you have said.” (Genesis 18:3-5 NKJV)

Joseph’s Care for His Family in Egypt

Although his brothers betrayed him, Joseph forgave them and provided food for his family when they came to Egypt seeking provisions. Joseph used his position of power to serve his family in their time of need.

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph; does my father still live?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence. And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” So they came near. Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.” (Genesis 45:3-5 NKJV)

Moses’ Leadership of God’s People

Moses was a servant leader who advocated for the Israelites before Pharaoh, led them out of slavery, and guided them through the wilderness. Though they complained against him, Moses continued to intercede and provide direction. His service reflects Christ’s persevering leadership.

For the Lord has called you as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, Like a youthful wife when you were refused,” Says your God. “For a mere moment I have forsaken you, But with great mercies I will gather you. (Isaiah 54:6-7 NKJV)

Ruth’s Commitment to Naomi

Ruth left her home and served her widowed mother-in-law Naomi. Ruth worked hard to provide for them both. She humbly went to gather grain in Boaz’s field. Ruth’s loving service ultimately led her to become the great-grandmother of King David.

But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.” (Ruth 1:16 NKJV)

Abigail Intervenes to Stop David

When David sought to kill her foolish husband, Abigail humbly appealed to David and stopped him from sinning. She served both her household and David by protecting others from harm. Her wisdom brought peace.

Now when Abigail saw David, she quickly dismounted from the donkey, fell on her face before David, and bowed down to the ground. So she fell at his feet and said: “On me, my lord, on me let this iniquity be! And please let your maidservant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your maidservant.” (1 Samuel 25:23-24 NKJV)

These Old Testament saints modeled humble, practical service to others that pleased the Lord.

Jesus Christ’s Example of Serving Others

Of course, the greatest example of service is Jesus Christ himself. The Son of God left heaven’s glory to take on flesh and serve sinners.

Jesus Showed Compassion and Healed Many

Wherever Jesus went, he looked upon people with compassion and ministered to their needs. He healed the sick, lame, and blind. He cast out demons and restored dignity to outcasts. His miraculous power was always used to serve others.

When Jesus went ashore He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. (Matthew 14:14 NKJV)

Jesus Instructed and Fed Thousands

Immense crowds followed Jesus to hear his teaching. Even when tired, Jesus continued to serve them. He provided spiritual nourishment and taught God’s word. On two occasions, Jesus miraculously fed thousands who were hungry.

And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. (Matthew 9:35 NKJV)

Jesus Washed His Disciples’ Feet

Right before his death, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. This humbling act displayed Jesus’ servant heart. He modeled how his followers should lovingly serve one another.

After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. (John 13:5 NKJV)

Jesus Died to Serve Us

Ultimately, Jesus served all humanity by giving his life as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. His death on the cross fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy about the suffering servant.

Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28 NKJV)

Jesus Christ demonstrated perfect love and service during his earthly ministry. He calls his followers to walk in the same path of servant leadership.

Serving Others in the Early Church

Christ’s first followers embraced servanthood and modeled it for future believers:

Distribution to Widows

The early church made sure Greek and Hebrew widows were fed daily. The apostles appointed servants to handle food distribution so they could focus on teaching God’s word. Serving tables may seem mundane but it is vital for meeting needs.

Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. (Acts 6:1 NKJV)

Tabitha’s Good Works

Tabitha was a generous disciple who always did good works and gave to the poor. She served widows by making them garments. When Tabitha died, Peter raised her back to life. Her serving life was not over.

At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. (Acts 9:36 NKJV)

Onesiphorus’ Refreshing Spirit

The apostle Paul commended Onesiphorus who often refreshed him and was not ashamed of Paul’s imprisonment. Onesiphorus diligently served Paul in his difficult ministry.

For he refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain; but when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very zealously and found me. (2 Timothy 1:16-17 NKJV)

Phoebe’s Assistance

Paul describes Phoebe as a servant of the church in Cenchrea who helped many people, including Paul. Christians are called to follow Phoebe’s example of service and generosity.

I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also. (Romans 16:1-2 NKJV)

Service was central in the early church. Believers served each other and their communities in practical ways that extended Christ’s work. This set a pattern for service throughout church history.

Serving the Poor and Oppressed

A key focus of biblical service is caring for the disadvantaged and oppressed. Here are some examples:

Boaz and the Gleaning Law

The Old Testament law allowed poor people to glean leftover grain from fields. As a kinsman redeemer, Boaz protected Ruth as she gleaned and made sure she was provided for. He served the poor.

And Boaz answered and said to her, “It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.” (Ruth 2:11-12 NKJV)

Job’s Former Kindness

When restores Job’s fortunes, God reminds him of how he previously helped the poor, fatherless, widow, lame, and blind. Job’s former service gave him a testimony of righteousness.

Because I delivered the poor who cried out, The fatherless and the one who had no helper. The blessing of a perishing man came upon me, And I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban. I was eyes to the blind, And I was feet to the lame. (Job 29:12-15 NKJV)

Psalms on God’s Care

The Psalms describe God’s care and protection for the poor and oppressed. God calls his people to emulate these qualities. We must serve the disadvantaged.

“For the Lord hears the poor, And does not despise His prisoners. (Psalm 69:33 NKJV)

Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked. (Psalm 82:3-4 NKJV)

The Ministry of Jesus

Jesus’ earthly ministry showed special concern for the poor, sick, and demon-possessed. He served those most in need of hope and restoration. We must follow his pattern.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; (Luke 4:18 NKJV)

Loving service should extend to the poor, widowed, orphaned, disabled, and marginalized. It reflects the Lord’s compassion for the needy.

Serving One Another in the Church

The New Testament provides many “one another” statements on how Christians should serve fellow believers.

Bear One Another’s Burdens

We are to help carry each other’s burdens in times of struggle. Serving others requires awareness of needs and availability.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2 NKJV)

Be Kind and Forgiving

Treating others with patience, kindness, and forgiveness serves their wellbeing. Let these traits mark your interactions.

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32 NKJV)

Submit to One Another

Humbly serving requires mutual submission, not demanding our own way. Esteem others above yourself.

Submitting to one another in the fear of God. (Ephesians 5:21 NKJV)

Serve in Love

Loving service builds up others. Let your deeds be motivated by love, not duty.

For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (Galatians 5:13 NKJV)

Use Your Gifts

Serve the church through your unique spiritual gifts and abilities. Bless others through stewarding God’s gifts.

As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. (1 Peter 4:10 NKJV)

The church functions best when believers lovingly serve each other based on these “one another” commands.

Serving Includes Evangelism and Discipleship

Along with meeting physical needs, biblical service includes sharing Christ’s love and the gospel. It also involves discipleship that helps others grow in faith.

Make Disciples

Before ascending to heaven, Jesus commissioned his followers to make disciples of all nations. Serving others includes discipling them in the faith.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV)

Store Up Treasures

Paul urges Timothy to use his teaching gifts to serve the church. This extends to all believers using their gifts to build up the body of Christ. Our service stores treasures in heaven.

Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. (1 Timothy 5:17 NKJV)

Share Your Faith

We must serve others by boldly sharing the reason for our hope. This includes proclaiming Christ’s sacrifice for sins and salvation by grace alone.

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; (1 Peter 3:15 NKJV)

Set an Example

Paul challenges Timothy to set an example for other believers in service, faith, and purity. Our godly service influences others.

Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12 NKJV)

Evangelism efforts and making disciples are vital elements of serving others for Christ. We must not neglect this eternal service.

Serving Enemies, Foreigners, and Persecutors

Finally, the Bible calls believers to the high standard of serving even our enemies and persecutors:

Love Your Enemies

Jesus said to love our enemies, bless those who persecute us, and pray for those who mistreat us. This serving love reflects God’s mercy.

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, (Matthew 5:44 NKJV)

Share Your Food and Drink

If your enemy is hungry or thirsty, serve them by giving food and drink. Overcome evil with good rather than retaliation.

Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” (Romans 12:20 NKJV)

Show Hospitality

Be welcoming and hospitable toward strangers and foreigners. Serving others includes those outside our familiar circles.

Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. (Hebrews 13:1-2 NKJV)

Repay Evil with Blessing

As Christians face persecution, they should not seek revenge but repay evil with blessing. Turn away wrath through serving.

not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. (1 Peter 3:9 NKJV)

When we serve anyone in need with compassion, it reflects Christ and softens hard hearts. We must not limit serving only to those who are easy to love.


These examples demonstrate the breadth and call to serve others in Scripture. Jesus Christ perfectly modeled sacrificial service for us during His earthly ministry. Now as His followers, we are all called to serve in many contexts – our families, church, community, the poor, strangers, the lost, our enemies, and those in need across the world.

Serving others displays Christ’s love. It meets practical needs, shows compassion, offers spiritual truths, makes disciples, builds up the church, and blesses the disadvantaged. Our service flows from gospel transformation that motivates us to live outwardly focused lives that glorify God.

The biblical examples of godly men and women who served others inspire us to follow their pattern. May we all increasingly grow as servants who humbly honor the Lord by meeting needs and spreading the good news of Christ wherever we go.

Key Takeaways on Serving Others:

  • Jesus is our ultimate model of serving through his sacrificial leadership and death on the cross.
  • Serving reflects Christ’s love and care for people – both physically and spiritually.
  • The Bible shows how godly men and women served their families, communities, the poor, oppressed, and the lost.
  • Jesus had compassion on crowds and taught them, fed them, healed them, and washed the disciples feet to model service.
  • The early church served one another and their communities in practical ways that extended Christ’s work.
  • Biblical service includes caring for the disadvantaged and marginalized.
  • Christians are called to serve fellow believers through bearing burdens, forgiveness, submission, love, and using gifts.
  • Serving also includes evangelism, discipleship, and teaching biblical truth.
  • Believers should even love and serve enemies, persecutors and foreigners.
  • Our service brings glory to God, stores eternal rewards, reflects Jesus, and fulfills the law of love.
  • Bible characters like Abraham, Ruth, Job, Tabitha, and many others set a pattern of service for us to follow.

As Christ’s ambassadors, we have the privilege of serving in His name and joining His mission of redemption through acts of love. My prayer is that God will use this biblical teaching on serving others to inspire greater generosity, compassion and gospel purpose in our lives for the sake of His Kingdom.

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