II CORINTHIANS 11:3-5: “But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed. But I don’t consider myself inferior in any way to these “super apostles” who teach such things.” (NLT)
OBSERVATION: “Super-stars” or “Super-servants” – What does the Lord call us to be? Today there is an obsession with superheroes. The comic book franchise has taken off on both the small screen and the movie screen. This obsession with the “super” is nothing new. It is not a product of our 21st Century. In essence, it is the product of the desire of man to be like God. It began in the Garden of Eden, was prevalent in the Corinthian church, and is rampant in our current culture and the contemporary church of our day.
What is the characteristic of this “super” obsession? It is the insatiable desire for the sensational, the supernatural, and the exciting – in a disproportionate way. This preoccupation with the “external” becomes so important that people are led quickly into deception, even embracing a different Jesus, a different Gospel, and a different Spirit. Paul goes on to note the character quality of these so called – “superstar apostles”.
- “These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 NLT
Jesus said that we will know a true apostle (and disciple) by their fruits. It is important to note that Jesus did not say we will know them by their title, by their power, or by their miraculous works (read Matthew 7:21-23). None of these is the deciding factor. The real test is “fruit”. It is not who one claims to be, or what one does, it is ultimately who one is! And here is a key – a true apostle of Jesus Christ will never fixate on a title or hunger for personal recognition.
A true apostle (and disciple) of Jesus Christ will be a servant!
- “So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:42-45 NLT
So here is an important warning in this day of superhero obsession – God’s true superheroes are super-servants! They are not the ones who everyone knows. You will not see their faces on billboards or plastered in magazines. You will find them working with the poor, shepherding the local flock of God without notoriety, visiting the imprisoned and in-firmed. They are the missionary in the field serving daily without any fanfare, the nurse, school teacher, homemaker, factory worker, and the businessman living out their faith with true Christian character. When we sit at the Lord’s Banqueting Table, when the Eternal Rewards are given to His children, we will be truly surprised to see who God’s True Superstars really are!
- “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” (Matthew 25:37-40 NLT)
Lord, help me be a fruitful and faithful servant.
In Jesus Name!