In Ephesians 5, Paul reminds us of one of the great mysteries (as he calls it) of the Bible. We are all reminded to submit ourselves to a life-long washing, cleansing, and sanctifying purification by this great Being who was sent to earth to wash us all, and serve us all.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, That He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. (Eph. 5:22-27)
Thoughts about Christ
A while back, my wife was reading a book entitled The Law of the Offerings by Andrew Jukes that contained this quote: “Christ is, throughout the Bible the key to scripture. He is the one great idea of the Bible. Know Christ, understand God’s thoughts about Him, and you will understand the Bible.” As we look at the Bible, we could rightly claim that there are many things that are a bit vague and that are “hard to understand.” But if there is one issue that is crystal clear, it is how these two great Beings feel about each other.
God the Father must think very highly of His son because He gave Him many offices of authority and responsibility over the church. He made Him the Head over all things to the church, the Captain of our salvation, the Author and Finisher of our faith, the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, the Apostle and High Priest, our Savior, Mediator, and King. As Christ faithfully executes the duties of each of those offices on a very intimate, personal level in each of our lives, His appeal to us is the same as it was to Peter on the Passover, which we talked about last week – “let Me serve you … if I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”
We all want Christ more fully involved in our lives, and He is ever ready to serve us, work within us, cleanse us, and purify us. So, as we go through the rest of this material on how He is “with us” to lead us in this totally unique and unselfish way, let’s keep in mind the many functions that He is there to perform for His “sheep” every moment of every day of their lives.
I Know My Sheep
In Mattew 28:20, Jesus said “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” His being with and helping His followers didn’t end with his human life. He is still with us, still among us “as one who serves.”
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. (John 14:18-21)
The word “manifest,” emphanizo (G1718) in the Greek, means to exhibit someone or something to view, to show one’s self, to come to view, appear, indicate, disclose, or declare. Jesus makes Himself known to us, just as He tells us in John 10 when he says that He is known by His sheep (John 10:14).
“But,” you might be thinking, “He’s speaking here to the church leaders … the apostles … the important people in the church. I’m not important enough to be included in this.” For a direct answer to this fear, we need look no farther than Matthew 18:20 where Christ says, “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Christ is personally present whenever His people gather, not matter how small the group. A small family, a couple, two or three brethren in fellowship, there He is in the midst of them “as one who serves.”
An Individual Call
But here again you might be thinking, “yea, but I’m alone. I’m a single person all by myself,” or “I’m living hours away from any group that I could fellowship with. What about me? Surely Christ doesn’t have time to spend on an unimportant little person like me … I’m not worthy of his attention.”
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. ( Rev. 3:20)
This is Christ’s message to an individual in your shoes – “open the door, and I’ll come in for you. Just for you, even if you’re the only one in there who wants Me! I will come in to you and dine with you “as one who serves.”
Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. (Matt 18:10-14)
Yes even you , the lone individual isolated from other brethren or outcast from corporate groups, is important to Jesus, the Christ of God, if you want Him involved in your life. It’s up to each of us to make that choice, though. Will I answer the knock on the door? Will I let Him serve me as He was sent to do?
“I Am Among You As One Who Serves” series