1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)
Love is… not self-seeking
Jesus did not consider the place he had with the father as something to be held onto, rather he chose to be our priest here on earth. He went on to say that when we are invited to a party that we should not seek to set at the head of the table.
Let us first look at the priesthood as Jesus may have understood it. The priesthood was to be a calling of God on ones life. Jesus was called to be a priest at an early age. When Jesus was twelve years old he knew that God had called him to be a priest, but it would be another eighteen years before he would start that ministry. At the age of thirty he was baptized for the remission of sins. This signified that a priest was not better than any one else and that they also needed to offer a sacrifice for their sin. (be forgiven for their sins) From here Jesus would bring God’s word to the people and he would bring the needs of the people to God. Jesus taught the people on a daily basis. Not only what the scripture said but how they were to be applied. He also brought the needs of the people to God. This is seen when he turned water into wine, healed people, raised people from the dead, and provided food for their journey.
For Jesus the priesthood was an act of love. Both for the father and the people. Let us look at how his love was not self seeking.
Most of the places that Jesus went he did not require the best places but would allow others to ask him to take the place of honor. His first miracle was turning the water into wine. He had been invited to a wedding and was happy being a guest. Even when he turned the water into wine he did not make it known he was responsible for it. When he when to Samara he waited for the people to ask him to stay. In his dealing with people he often waited for an invitation before he met their needs. Yet there were times that did seek to be the center of attention. In the temple he often spoke as the priest. With Nicodemus, he invited himself to dinner.
At the end of his life, God elevated Jesus to be our high priest. He now sits at the fathers right hand interceding for us. Having sent us his spirit he still brings God’s word to us and our needs to God. For the father knows what we have need of before we ask.
As we imitate Christ we will find that our place will be determined more by the ministry that God has given us than what we think we can offer the group. Our ministry will be a mixture of sharing God’s word with others, ministering to the needs of others, and bring the needs of others to God. God will equip each of us differently to fulfill each of these ministries. Therefore some will be the center of attention while most of us will be the followers doing the work of the father.
God Bless you as you imitate Christ.