Saturday, February 23, 2013

the young servant

written by Larry Rodgers

Read Exodus 24 and Luke 7

There are several Hebrew and Greek words translated ‘servant.’ One of those words in both languages specifically means a young man or boy. In Exodus 24:5 we read, “Then Moses sent the Israelite young men, and they offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed young bulls as fellowship offerings.” This was a very important job. It took a lot of energy. But remembering to when I was a young man, I would imagine this job, in the company of other young men, would have been a ton of fun.

As I wrote about in Thursday’s devotional, young men, left to their own devices, can be shockingly heartless. Bullying is so much fun. And cruelty to animals is not something that is aberrant to them. I have an Uncle who says he lost his Faith when he read the book, Lord of the Flies. This book tells the fictional story of a large group of boys who get shipwrecked on an island and quickly turn into savages. Though the book was fictional, my uncle saw that the story of the book was real.

But, curiously, this same creature can be humanity as God most intended humanity to be. Boys (and girls) like to please and they like to help out. Samuel was quick to do whatever Eli the priest told him to do. God trusted him to deliver a very important message to Eli.

In the gospels we read of a Centurion who had a special young servant. “Who was sick to the point of death, who was highly valued by him.” This servant was so valued, the Centurion used all his influence  to get Jesus to heal him. Then he thought better of using his position to impose upon Jesus and he sent friends to say to Him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am unworthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man set under authority, and I say to one, ‘Go’ and he goes; and to another ‘come’ and he comes. Boys, under authority, are wonderfully quick to do what they are told.

This is sort of like telling people which of your children is your favorite, but I think my favorite time in each of my children’s lives was that time between six and twelve. They were so eager to learn and they believed me when I told them stuff. Two of my children loved to help me with whatever project I was working on. They just wanted to be near their dad and help with whatever I needed. My curse is my spaciness. But these children would keep track of where ever I had laid my tools. Before I began looking around for it, they would hand me my pencil or my tape measure.

Henry Sardina tells of when he was a young boy, his older brother came home after being in a Cuban prison. Henry says, “He was like a god to me.” see

Nobody so looks up to special people as a young person.

May we all be like these young servants: quick to obey; quick to learn; and quick to admire. How can the Lord help but feel good towards servants like that?

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