2006-02-21 - Ordinary People
I am just an ordinary person. I have a wife, a son, a job, a house, a car and a pet. I realize not everyone has all of these things, but I'd probably be viewed as an average Joe. Quite likely, you're an average ordinary person too - that is unless your name is Clark Kent, Peter Parker, Diana Prince, or Bruce Wayne.
The Bible is full of ordinary people.
Matthew 8:14-15 (KJV) And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever. 15 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.
Peter had a house, a wife, and a sick mother-in-law. Peter was an ordinary person. So were (plural, not was - probably a typo) his wife and mother-in-law, and yet they are remembered still today. They became extraordinary through their connection with one named Jesus. What about this Jesus makes those ordinary people stand out?
Notice that when Jesus comes in, he notices the sickness right off. When Jesus went to Peter's house, he saw that Peter's mother-in-law was sick in bed with a fever. (Matthew 8:14 NCV) When Jesus first comes to us, he first sees our condition as well. He sees our hurts; he sees the decaying sinful flesh, but he is not content to watch us just fade away.
Jesus touched her hand, and the fever left her. (Matthew 8:15a NCV)
Jesus healed her in the same way he desires to heal each of us. Jesus has a way of coming into lives and making them new. Jesus said in Revelation 21:5, "Behold, I make all things new." And he does. He restores us to health, but not merely the health of our body but of our spirit and soul. He fixes us to the core and, in that, we become extraordinary. It's not because of anything in us, except Christ in us.
That extraordinary love dwelling in us compels us into service. Then she stood up and began to serve Jesus. (Matthew 8:15b NCV) Peter's mother-in-law got up and began to serve Jesus. Some translations say she served them, rather than just him. The healed woman began to serve others because of the gift of restoration given to her.
Peter was also compelled to serve Jesus and others and took the gospel to many places. I Corinthians 9:5 alludes to the fact that Peter's wife also traveled with him. Clement, a member of the early church, recorded that she was martyred before Peter. As she was carried away, he called out to her, "Remember, dear, our Lord." He never forgot Jesus; all the way to his own cross, he remembered, (same thing) and it drove him to serve God.
Do you remember our Lord? Because Christ was concerned about our condition and was not content to leave us that way, he caused us to become complete. That completeness and his concern flowing in us compel us to serve him and others.
As I said, I am just an ordinary man, but I have an extraordinary God that dwells within me and drives me to greatness not for me - but for him.
O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. (Psalms 34:3)
All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted