We are to be nobody

Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or suffer loss? Luke 9:22-25

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not a thing to be grasped to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name… Philippians 2:5-9

We are to be nobody, to be nothing, to be a servant.

When you deny yourself and take up your cross to follow Jesus then you are embracing the death of yourself, you are embracing the fact that you will be a nobody and nothing in the eyes of the world. It is to embrace the death of your pride, and that old man doesn’t die fast, he lingers on more than we may be willing to admit.

Don’t mistake Jesus. He is not saying we become nobody in the sight of God, just the opposite, that when we are willing to be nobody and nothing in the estimation of carnal men, and even willing to be trash in their eyes if need be, only then can we truly serve them and serve God.

Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; And labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure it: Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the trash of all things unto this day.
1 Cor. 4:11-13

It’s not that anyone wants to suffer for the sake of suffering, that would be silly. And we are not of those who think that suffering is vicarious, no. The world we have been thrown into is of such a nature that it is against everything Jesus Christ stands for.

The conflict and the suffering we find ourselves in (even the conflict we have with our own flesh and pride) is simply that the nature of Jesus and the nature of the world and the flesh are opposed to one another. You don’t have to go looking for conflict, you only have to possess the nature of Jesus to realize you’ve been thrown right into the breach of the conflict, of a cosmic showdown where men’s souls are at stake.

Paul didn’t go looking for conflict, he didn’t create conflict, he simply was true to the nature of who Jesus is, and this was the nature of the conflict: conflicting natures.

It means that if you simply teach the truth of the Gospel and live it you find that a lot of people think you are fighting them or against them. But the reality of it is that the power of the truth of God’s Word has searched their hearts and exposed their heart motives and they don’t like that. It means that as soon as you begin to speak the truth into the world of lies you find yourself in a conflict.

And not just a conflict with others but an internal conflict: Who want’s the aggravation? Hey, this is not good for me! If I just tweak the Word of God to make it more appealing to the selfish desires of Christians then I can get out of the conflict?

Now, who do you stand with? With Jesus, or with the world or your flesh and your pride? Do you please man, or please yourself, or please God?

The Kingdom of God clashes with the phony little kingdoms of this world. Jesus conquered the whole world by becoming a servant. See the road He walked, see the road the Apostles walked, of not loving themselves or their own life even to the death, bearing their cross. See the humiliation and suffering they needed to embrace in order to fulfill their ministries: this is the narrow way Jesus spoke of, there is no other way than to walk in His steps.

2 Responses to “We are to be nobody”

  1. Michael Ferguson Says:

    Just as our Father continually reveals Himself to those who draw near and seek Him, so too is the ongoing revelation of self unveiled as we see ourselves in light of his holy nature. There are days where I am not conscious of sin (where as Paul I have nothing against myself) and days where self attempts to regain control in one form or another (and the “I” becomes very apparent in me). On one hand we have been put to death (sentenced to death in Christ) and now we must put to death practically what remains of the old me.

    Both aspects of the above are shown in Colossians chapter 1 where it says, “we have died” (verse 3), “Therefore consider” (verse 5) and then also “but now you also” (verse 8). We are responsible to act, to choose righteousness and reject sin, and that based upon what Jesus has done.

    Thank God we’re not left to our own devices in an attempt to live the Christian life- something only Jesus Himself has done and can do through us as the old me stays off the throne.

    On Sun, Apr 28, 2013 at 11:50 PM, Ian Vincent

  2. Mark Bryan Finger Says:

    Enjoyed the post and the comment …

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