March 13, 2017
From the desk of A.J. Higgins
The Complete Man
“My son be strong … as a good soldier … strive for masteries …
the husbandman … a workman … a vessel unto honor …
the servant of the Lord … “
2 Timothy 2:1-24
Profitable ministry has been given many times on the many views of the child of God in 2 Timothy 2. There are at least seven aspects of our lives as believers. The roles range from sons in verse 1 to servants in verse 24. In between, we man the front lines, sow seed, cut straight paths through Scripture, and purify ourselves so as to be fit vessels.
While the practical value of this is important, consider how all of these roles were seen in their perfection in the Lord Jesus Christ. Was there ever a Son as faithful and strong as He? Strength of character was matched by strength of fidelity as He lived for the pleasure of His Father. Every word and deed was ascribed to His Father; all glory was given to Him. He was neither a reluctant Son, nor a Son Who needed to repent (Matt 21:28).
Enduring hardness literally means to suffer evil. We are reminded that He endured the contradiction of sinners against Himself. Simply put, it means that all He received from men was the exact opposite of what He rightly deserved. He endured all the evil that men perpetrated against Him. The worst that men could do, did not deter Him from the cross (Isa 50:5, 6). He was a good soldier!
As the athlete, He strove “lawfully.” Every step of His life was guided by the will and Word of God. He will rightly and deservedly be crowned in that day.
But think of what He has sown and think of what He will reap. The inviolable law of Scripture will be fulfilled in regard to Him. He sowed in tears; the corn of wheat has fallen into the ground. What a harvest is going to be reaped for God. He came to give His life to procure worshipers for His Father. He fell “into the ground” in death; He has provided life for countless millions.
The imagery of the workman rightly dividing the Word of truth is that of a man cutting a straight furrow. No one used the written Word of God so skillfully and wisely. He knew when to “close the Book” and when to ask, “Have ye never read?”
“A vessel unto honor, sanctified and meet for the Master’s use” is an understatement if applied to Him. His was a life of purity and separation, yet a life of usefulness and availability to every sincere seeker. There was this significant difference however, in regard to this Vessel. He never needed to be cleansed or remade. He was ever “that holy thing,” fit at every moment, for His Master’s use.
Finally, as the Servant of Lord, He did not strive. There was never verbal jousting nor physical resistance linked with this perfect Servant. He was “led as a lamb to the slaughter.” The One Who possessed all wisdom, never employed that wisdom to win an argument or embarrass anyone. His words were always with a view to blessing, even when they appeared harsh.
He was the Faithful Son, the good Soldier, the fruitful Husbandman, the disciplined Athlete, the skilled Workman, the fit Vessel, and the gentle Servant.
We have only touched the surface in our consideration of these roles. Think of other occasions and ways in which He fulfilled all of which we have written.