WONDERFUL THING IN THIS PASSAGE – There’s an old joke meant to set people at ease when they can’t remember your name or title: “You can call me whatever you want; just don’t call me late for dinner.”
I’ve never cared much about titles, but there is one I love to use for myself and for other followers of Jesus. It’s “fellow servant.” I consider it the highest honor and the greatest privilege to claim that title and to bestow it on others. John’s angelic guide through the Revelation seemed to feel the same way:
“Then I fell at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, ‘Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers and sisters who hold firmly to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God’” (Rev 19:10).
John recorded a similar exchange with this or another angel three chapters later:
“When I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had shown them to me. But he said to me, ‘Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you, your brothers the prophets, and those who keep the words of this book. Worship God!’” (Rev 22:8-9).
These majestic heavenly beings far surpass us in knowledge, in power, in obedience, and in closeness to God. And yet they are unimpressed with their elevated status. Their primary self-awareness is of their function as servants of the Most High and of their fellowship with all others who join them in serving.
The angels urged John to see them in this way and to adopt their attitude when thinking of himself. They both reminded him, “I am a fellow servant with you.”
WONDERFUL THING IN OUR LIVES – You and I would do well to adopt that attitude as to who we are in relation to Christ and to each other. We should see ourselves not primarily as His pupils, His buddies, or His understudies, but as His servants – His beloved servants, yes – but still His servants. And not even as stand-out servants, but just as fellow servants of the Master.
The argument between the torch and the candle about who’s brightest is ridiculous in the brilliance of the sun. That’s why the angels, whose eyes beheld the unmasked glory of God, could take no part in one servant exalting another.
“Fellow servant” – When we can be happy with that designation, when we can be truly satisfied with it, then we can work our hardest and do our best at serving our Lord together. We can be freed from the unnecessary pain or false pride in comparing our service to that of others. We can rejoice at the deepest level, and with no secret envy, when our fellow servants succeed and are recognized and rewarded for their success. And we can do all in our power to help them become effective servants of our common Master.