13: The Last Shall Be First
When someone is in authority they are generally in a leadership position, in control, and on top of the heap. This is what we naturally associate with authority. Jesus affirmed that this is the standard definition in this world, but then he redefined authority for His followers.
Jesus called them to him and said, â€œYou know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, (Matthew 20:25-27)
Disciples of Jesus are called to serve on another and wash each other’s feet. Those who would be great must have the attitude of a servant. I think it is natural to want to be great. As a man I aspire to win. Jesus, in speaking to his male disciples, knew this propensity and did not discourage it. He redirected it. If you want to be someone significant, serve.
As parents we have been given called to raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We have God given authority to train up our children in the way they should go. But instead of Lording it over our children, we are to use this divine unction to build them up. In the same spirit, Paul says that his authority is not for tearing down, but for building up.
But this authority is to build you up, not to tear you down. (2 Cor. 10:8)
Most of us are aware of our faults and shortcomings. I am not a prophet but I have a growing sense that most of us need less rebukes and more affirmations. And the Christian home is just the place to begin this revolution of encouragement.
The family has been created and designed by our All Wise All Good Father. Recall Proverbs 31:28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: As family members, spouse, and children, we are uniquely suited to strengthen and inspire one another to love and good works.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, (Hebrews 10:24)
As wickedness increases and the pressures of the world around us escalates, let us avoid the natural result of stress and instead of tearing down those near to us, encourage them.
but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:25)
In the spirit of Jesus call to minister to one another, and Paul’s admonition to authoritatively build one another up, let all things be done for building up (1 Cor. 14:26).
May God bless you each in looking for ways and means to build yourselves up in your most holy faith (Jude 20)