It is interesting to note that we humankind have an affinity towards titles to the extent that we get offended if we are not recognised as having them or are addressed by them. I wonder what makes us think we are better than Mary, who replied to the angel that she was the Lord’s servant (Luke 1:38) when she got news of the great honor bestowed upon her to bear the Messiah.
Even after his birth to the end of all biblical accounts she did not give herself any titles or positions or even take any credit for anything but faded into relative obscurity as Peter and Paul took center stage in the leadership and spreading of the Gospel.
Today we are caught up with wanting to have titles instead of focusing on serving, and conveniently forget that the principle of greatness in the Kingdom is taught by Jesus in Matthew 23:8-12: “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are ALL BROTHERS. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. THE GREATEST AMONG YOU WILL BE YOUR SERVANT. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. (NIV, emphasis mine).
By this account Mary becomes great by virtue of her humility, and not by the great things she did. In this day and age of PR and marketing some use the excuse of promoting Jesus via ‘the man of God’ doing things to glorify Jesus, or ‘for God’s glory’, while obviously making poor attempts to hide the fact that they are promoting the man and his ministry and even pointing towards miracles and signs as evidence that God is there. Whilst being careful not to point fingers at servants of God, lets ask ourselves which is more important; the gifts of the Spirit or the fruits?
We are not perfect, and I certainly count myself as the least perfect person, hence I have no right to point fingers or throw stones and I urge us all to do the same; that is, refrain from touching the anointed of God. All we need do is watch ourslves lest we get caught up with self-glorification or glorifying each other with all kinds of excuses, instead of pointing the attention towards the author of our salvation. I always become cautious when I see believers constantly praising their spiritual leaders and mentors because a good teacher teaches the student to become like or better than them in the faith so that the glory always remains in God since those under the teacher exhibit the same patterns, knowledge, gifts and zeal to serve God.
Be blessed, be humble, be-lieve!