Servant Priests

Exodus 28; Hebrews 9; Matthew 25:31-26:13

 

“To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father- to Him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.” -Revelation 1:5-6

How we relate to people, especially in the Body, seems to be of great concern to our Lord. Spiritual unity is a theme found throughout Scripture and was important enough for Jesus to pray over before going to the cross (John 17:19-23). If God’s heart could be summed up in two sentences it would consist of our love for Him and how we love others (Mark 12:28-31). Why do our relationships matter? Can’t it just be me and God?

When we look back to the Ten Commandments, the first four commands are how man lives toward God. The last six speak of people rightly interacting with each other. God gave us a template for relationship in the Trinity. Created in the image of God, we are made to be relational. We are meant for community.

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For the most part I am typically reserved and shy, especially in large groups. It takes a lot of energy to be around people for an extended period of time. So intentional community could potentially be an introvert’s worst nightmare. Our bandwidth is limited more than the naturally outgoing person. Still, this isn’t a cop-out as we are all called to serve others, investing in relationships among the faith family. I can trust God to help me interact with people and not live selfishly to myself.

It is actually a joy to represent Jesus by ministering to someone. My Father ministers to me everyday through various acts of service. It might be a text message from a sister in Christ checking on me, a meal, a joke, prayer, or receiving childcare help. Serving the Body doesn’t have to be complicated. There are many practical ways we can bless another or perhaps be on the receiving end.

The priesthood order outlined in Exodus 28 foreshadows not only Jesus as our Great High Priest but believer-priests in the Church Age: us! Notice Aaron is given the high office (a type of Christ), but his sons are instituted as servant priests also. This is our spiritual heritage, a picture of what it means to be the hands and feet of Christ (1 Peter 2:5). Jesus says how we serve others will define whether we are His or not. This isn’t a works based salvation but a product of flourishing faith, obedience and love. Our spiritual sacrifice requires giving of ourselves with our time and resources. In this way we identify with Jesus who demonstrated the deepest kind of love through action on the cross.

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Mary of Bethany dignified Jesus in the home of Simon the Leper by pouring an expensive perfume over him. This was possibly her life savings and as the Bible does not record her having a husband to depend on financially, her act was one of reckless abandon to the Lord. Did she have an inclination of what was to come? Jesus said she was preparing Him for burial. Whatever her motivation other than overcome with worship, she ministered to Jesus. Can you imagine that privilege? Even then while Mary was in the act of honoring Christ, others around her were scorning this perfumed sacrifice.

What is more incredible than Mary radically serving Jesus is the way he humbly served His own disciples by washing their feet. Jesus also blessed lepers by touching their sores to heal them, erasing their stigma as outcasts. The Lord allowed children to sit on His lap and enjoy His presence, Jesus turned water into wine for a new bride and groom at their wedding feast. Ultimately, Jesus served all who will come to Him by going to the cross. There is no greater testimony than the life of Christ, our Great High Priest. He calls us as servant priests to follow in His steps. Serve the Church, sincerely love and honor our faith family.

 

Grace upon grace,

April

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