A different Good Friday
Resurrection changes everything

A loving and loyal servant

In his letter to the Romans the apostle Paul is introducing himself as a loving and loyal servant of the Anointed One, Jesus (Rom 1,1 TPL). When I read what Paul was writing about himself, his words struck me. What a sound self-image. What a wonderful self-esteem. What a bold statement about himself: I am a loving and loyal servant!

First of all he wants to tell that he is a servant of the Anointed One, Jesus the Messiah. He had been called and chosen by Jesus Christ to be a servant. He was set apart with a mission. As a servant he was a sent one, an apostle. His mission was to reveal the wonderful news of the Kingdom of God. He was to bring people out of darkness and ignorance into the light and understanding of the Good News of what God had done through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That was his mission to bring insight to people, to help them grasp the eternal plan and purpose of Christ. He was never disobedient to this heavenly vision. He was a servant of Jesus Christ his entire life. The heavenly vision made him a servant. 

Then he wants us to understand that he was serving out of love. He was a loving servant. It was his love for Jesus that made him a servant. He could never forget his first encounter with Jesus. Paul was a blasphemer. He was a persecutor of believers. He was a scorner of the truth of God. Actually he was ignorant and didn't know what he was doing while he was boiling with rage against the Christians. In that situation Jesus revealed himself to him. It was like mercy was kissing him. Seeing and hearing Jesus speak to him, flooded him with such incredible grace, like a river overflowing its banks. He received forgiveness for all his wrongdoing.  From that moment he was full of love for Jesus, and remained his loving servant for his entire life. 

Thirdly, he is telling us that he is a loyal servant. True love will always make us loyal servants. After his encounter with Jesus, on the way to Damascus, Paul became a changed man. The direction of his life was changed. His priorities were changed. Even his religious loyalty changed. From being loyal to a religious system, he changed to be loyal to a person, the Lord Jesus Christ. He never forsake his loyalty to Jesus. He met a lot of opposition. He faced persecution. He suffered many hardships. He suffered many false accusations. He had to face many difficulties because of his loyalty to the Lord. But through it all he remained loyal to Jesus. He had to fight false teachings to stay loyal to Jesus. He had to take a stand against false preaching. Even in chains he was standing up for the truth of the Gospel. He was always defending the truth of Jesus Christ. His loyalty to Christ caused him to keep the Gospel pure by exposing and denouncing the distorted and fake "gospels" of his days.

May God make us all loving and loyal servants of Jesus, the Anointed One, by daily making us partakers of a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit.