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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Look at Jesus from Hebrews: Jesus: The Complete Servant Pt 1 – Why did God become a Slave?

There are many kinds of communication that we all have. One key one that many under estimate is “Body Language.” Children are great at this; If you ask, “want to go to the park” Smiles, jumping up and down, running feet towards the door! On the other hand, if you say, “Go clean your room” – The body slumps, droopy eyes, hanging arms and hands that are useless and dragging feet upstairs, like each foot weighs a ton! Their “body” shows how they are thinking!

It is important to remember that the usual word translated “servant” in the original is the word “slave!” When we think about Jesus as the Complete Servant, it will help us to first reflect on what a true servant is.

To be a real servant, it is not so much what we do, that is obedience. Servanthood begins with how we think! If you think as a servant, you will find a joy and contentment in what you do. If you simply “act” as a servant you will build resentment in your heart. 

One of my favorite stories about how to be a servant is this one:

At 3:00 A.M. one cold morning a missionary candidate walked into an office for a scheduled interview with the examiner of a mission board. He waited until 8:00 A.M. when the examiner arrived.

The examiner said, “Let us begin. First, please spell baker.” “B-a-k-e-r,” the young man spelled. “Very good. Now, let’s see what you know about figures. How much is twice two?” “Four,” replied the applicant. “Very good,” the examiner said. “I’ll recommend to the board tomorrow that you be appointed. You have passed the test.”
At the board meeting the examiner spoke highly of the applicant and said, “He has all the qualifications of a missionary. Let me explain. “First, I tested him on self-denial. I told him to be at my house at three in the morning. He left a warm bed and came out in the cold without a word of complaint. “Second, I tried him out on punctuality. He appeared on time. “Third, I examined him on patience. I made him wait five hours to see me, after telling him to come at three. “Fourth, I tested him on temper. He failed to show any sign of it; he didn’t even question my delay. “Fifth, I tried his humility. I asked him questions that a small child could answer, and he showed no offense. He meets the requirements and will make the missionary we need.” [1]

In Romans, Paul connects our actions to each other in the Body of Christ, correlating it directly to the attitude of Christ.

Romans 15:3-4 Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, "The reproaches of those who reproached You fell upon me.” For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

This section of Hebrews introduces a doctrine that is beyond our comprehension and opens the important door to the one of the two “Keys” to being a true servant.

Heb 2:9: But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.

The important question to ask is, “Who made Jesus lower?” the answer is found in Philippians:

Philippians 2:5-8 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

There is a translation that uses more modern English, but is still from the Greek and translated properly. It is the NTL – notice what it states in terms that we use today:

Philippians 2:5–8 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

The “Key” to being a true servant is that no one forced or manipulated you to do it, you made yourself a servant! That is what Jesus did. GOD became a slave!

I realize this is a difficult issue for all of us. How can we understand the Trinity? We can’t, it is from the Divine Mind!  When people ask me, “Nate when we get to heaven will we see 3 or 1?” My answer is “Yes!” Only God can explain God, and only when He has enabled us to receive that knowledge will we be able to handle it. I am convinced that if God revealed Himself in Total to me in the state I am in, my head would explode off of my shoulders!

The fact remains that the Scripture plainly states Who Jesus is! Again in Hebrews, after discussing what Angels are, the Scripture speaks about Jesus:

Hebrews 1:8–10 But to the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. You rule with a scepter of justice. 9 You love justice and hate evil. Therefore, O God, your God has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.” 10 He also says to the Son, “In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands.

God calls the Son, God! We have a problem with that because many times in the N.T. it seems like the Father is above the Son. Yet if you truly study the Scriptures you will see, that the answer to that question is Yes & No!

In Essence God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are all GOD! One in Essence. However, for the “economy” of the universe…how it is managed…The Son submitted Himself to the Father, and the Holy Spirit submitted Himself to both the Father and the Son. We worship only One God, Who reveals Himself in three persons. We are not going to figure it out and I am glad of that. If you can explain God to me, He is no greater than you!

Why did Jesus become a Servant? It is obvious that Jesus so loved the Father and so loved us, that He gave up His rights as God and became a servant to make a way for us to have eternal life!

There is another “Key” to true servanthood and 2 Characteristics we should see which, we will look at in the next Devo.

The So What: Do you have to understand everything about God before you can trust Him? Should we be amazed that comprehension of God, Who is infinite, is impossible for beings like us that are finite. How does faith assist in these issues with God? Do you find it hard to submit to authority? How easier do you think it would be if you submitted because you choose too, instead of doing it to keep a job or please yout family? If you know that Jesus serves us, how should we respond?

[1] Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (p. 809). Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc.

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