By Allen White
Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Xerxes, preeminent among the Jews, and held in high esteem by his many fellow Jews, because he worked for the good of his people and spoke up for the welfare of all the Jews. Esther 10:3
Mordecai now occupied the spot that Haman once held (Esther 3:1). What Haman scratched and fought to attain, Mordecai was given as a reward for his faithfulness. The last person was now in a high position, the one putting himself first, Haman, was no more. The end of the story is poetic. The good guy finished first. The one who did the right thing got the reward. It was just. It was also Christ-like.
Jesus didn’t come to be served, even though God Almighty deserves our service. Jesus came as a servant to seek and save the lost (Matthew 20:28). When His disciples argued over who deserved what, Jesus very clearly explained that in His kingdom putting yourself forward only moves you backward, but the guy at the end of the line is better positioned to lead (Matthew 19:30).
Mordecai supported Esther and guided her along the way (Esther 2:7). Mordecai reported the plot to assassinate the king (Esther 2:19-23). Mordecai mourned the plight of his people (Esther 4). The humility of sackcloth and ashes brought about the power to save God’s people.
Our temptation is to self-promote and to brag about what we have done and what we can do. This is opposite to Jesus’ attitude:
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (Philippians 2:3-7).
I don’t add this verse to shame us. God’s way is completely different from how we are wired. This is part of our fallenness. But, God doesn’t leave us there.
Rather than beating ourselves up with Paul’s words about Jesus, ask God to build this kind of character in your life. Granted, God often uses opposite situations to forge our characters. Surrendering to God is a dangerous prayer. But, depending on ourselves is far more dangerous.
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