Consider the difficulty of creating a worldwide solution for a worldwide problem. Two basic realities must be addressed. Reality one: is the solution workable among all people everywhere? Reality two: can people everywhere in all circumstances respond to the solution? We tend to stress the first reality and overlook the second.
God addressed both realities when He gave us Jesus to be the Savior of the world. For Jesus to provide salvation to all people, salvation had to be (1) workable everywhere among all people. It must work for the primitive and the advanced. It must work for the one who cannot read and the one who does read. It must work for the poor, the middle class, and the wealthy. Salvation in Jesus (2) must be based on an example that all people could understand. Jesus could have come as royalty; but royalty is not an option for most people. Jesus could have come as privileged, but being privileged is not an option for most. Jesus could have occupied a significant earthly position, but occupying a significant position is not an option for most people.
Among all people on earth are servants. Everyone understands the basic role and responsibility of a servant. For God through Jesus to create salvation that could be extended to the people of the world, He had to send Jesus as a servant.
2 Corinthians 8:1-9; The Christians in Macedonia.
These very poor people contributed to a fund to relieve the physical distress of Christians in Jerusalem (1 Corinthians 16:3). Their generous gift reflected God's grace that lived in them. They suffered physically for having faith in Jesus (2 Corinthians 8:2) and lived in "deep poverty." They responded to the need with the "wealth of liberality."
1 Timothy 2:3-6; Paul addressed image problems.
Christians living in the city of Ephesus had significant image problems. Paul wanted them to act in ways that publicly addressed the misrepresentations of whom and what they were.
Titus 2:11-14; Paul addressed problems associated with behavior.
Christians on the island of Crete behaved in ways that destroyed the gospel's "healthy teaching."
Jesus came to save. Jesus served to save. He willingly assumed poverty. He mediates. He sacrificed himself to redeem. Those are the actions of one who willingly chooses to serve. Only because Jesus was a servant could He do those things.
The basic significance of this truth must not be ignored. Christian generosity is the natural result when Jesus is example. Improved Christian images are the natural result when Jesus is the example. Improved Christian behavior is the natural result when Jesus is the example. This truth is fundamental to Christian existence: Jesus must be my example. The basic reason that the Christian man or woman will assume the role of a servant: our Savior was a servant.
Link to Teacher's Guide Quarter 1, Lesson 6
previous lesson | table of contents | next lesson