Aug. 1, 2002

PHP 2:5-9 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant,being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man,he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,

Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. [27] For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. Luke 22:27

I just recently watched a movie about the knights of the round table. While showing the round table to someone else, King Arthur replied, "By serving each other we become free--Here there is no head, no foot, we are all free." This reminded me about how we all are in relationship to each other in the kingdom of God. At the foot of the cross ALL are equal. No one is greater than anyone else. It is just a matter of function. The world is all about climbing the corporate ladder of success. To become the head or president of a corporation is something that many aspire to be. Very little in the world has to do with serving one another. To even consider such a thing would imply some type of weakness or a lack of some important trait.

Do we still retain this type of thinking though in the church? Do we elevate others above someone else? To be sure. honor should be given to those who labor among us and are leaders within the church. But again, we are all equal at the foot of the cross. An apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher, or whatever your title is, does not make you any greater than anyone else. You have a job to do and you may well be commissioned to carry it out. That is good. Continue to strive to do the best that you can do no matter where the Lord has placed you in His kingdom here on earth. But always remember that there are many members in the church. God has placed each where they are designed to be. He has given greater honor to those parts that are lacking.

[23] and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, [24] while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, [25] so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. [26] If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. I Co. 12

The world has striven to help bring about equality in different ways. Whether it has been the women's movement or the concern for racial equality, none of these systems have seemed to work. They have attempted to solve these problems and differences through world systems and philosophies.

While it is true that "all were equal at the round table," and that all the seats or chairs were on one level. It is also true that without the HEAD of the body, that is CHRIST, our service, our ministries, our everything, is NOTHING. We need a head to equip us. We need the headship and Lordship of Christ. He is to be HEAD over everything for the church. That is the one and only seat that should be elevated in our meetings and churches.

[22] And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, [23] which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. Eph. 1

So, the next time you sit at the table to eat remember these things. The next time you are in church consider these things. The next time you are in public, or wherever you are, remember these things. Remember who you are in Christ, but don't forget that all are equal in the sight of the Lord. It doesn't matter what your fuction is. It doesn't matter what your service is, or your gifting, or your ministry. We are not to show favortism to those who around us, because in doing so, we are elevating one over another.

JAS 2:1 My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. [2] Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. [3] If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," [4] have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

Stephen Hanson