Stewards: Jesus- The Good Steward

By Charlie Osewalt | 5 September 2013 | Comments (2)

Stewards: Jesus

Lord Jesus Christ the good steward.

Writing of Jesus, Paul fills Philippians 2:6-8 with a perfect summation of the Son of God’s character:

'Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!’

Jesus voluntarily chose to empty himself. He was the master who became a humble, perfect steward in order that we might find favour with God. Earlier, the gospel of John tells us that Jesus was ‘with God in the beginning’ as ‘the word’ (John 1:1-2), transformed to become flesh (John 1:14) just like us.

All of which has great implications for us as potential stewards. How can we look down on another, knowing that God Himself chose to become humbly human? Surely, if Jesus did not hesitate to cross physical, cultural and emotional barriers for the sake of the Gospel, we should not hold back either.

Jesus, the perfect steward, gave up all He had and died to make us whole. He became a leader who served, spurned earthly power and in doing so offers us a clear model to follow.  Each of us is built by God to serve our friends, our family, our community, our Creator, our enemies and our natural world.

In The Great Sin (a section of Mere Christianity), C.S. Lewis states:

“If we find… life is making us feel that we are good - above all, that we are better than someone else - I think we can be sure that we are being acted on, not by God, but by the Devil.”

That was me. As a twin I have been - almost since birth - competitive. It was never enough for me to simply win the argument, race or football match, but I had to destroy my opponent in the process, to end up the victor looking down on my opponent. Thankfully, I encountered Jesus’ model of stewardship. He who had ‘equality with God’ gave up everything to be one of us so that we should be moved to close any distance, whether perceived or real, between us and others. This was the model that led me to a real and radical change. I became a steward, and as a Christian my need to win no longer dominates. I still enjoy winning, but I no longer need it.

As well as no longer looking down upon others, stewards proactively represent their master. Jesus’ death on the cross was an act of humble service of God. As well as being the model for His disciples’ life, it remains ours as well. Expanding this notion of servant leadership, Paul urges his brothers and sisters:

“…in the view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

[Romans 12:1-2]

As God’s stewards we are to do His will - His good and perfect will. And when we do so, we follow Jesus’ model of serving the master. For the truth within all of this is clear: a steward is both a ruler and servant, one who exists to please his master.

“I do nothing on my own,” said Jesus, “but speak just what the Father has taught me. The One who sent me is with me; He has not left me alone, for I always do what please him.”

[John 8:28-29]

As at the beginning of our twelve-step journey through the stewards of the Bible, we would do well to pause here and absorb the magnitude of this apparently simple, self-evident truth: stewards please their master.

Jesus pleased His Father perfectly. He did not withhold love, He did not look down, He did nothing but serve the Father. He is the standard of the good steward.

Want to go deeper? You can download the PDF below for more:

 

 

Posted by Charlie Osewalt

Charles Osewalt is a husband, father of four children and former elder at Redeemer Church NYC. He has worked in schools for the last twenty years as principal in the Morrisanna section of the Bronx. He formerly worked as a content and curriculum specialist for Stewardship. He tweets at @charlesosewalt

comments:

Christine

March 24, 2015 2:07 PM
I am indeed blessed by this wonderful spirit led article. Thank you man of God for allowing God to use you in such a great manner. I am preaching on Stewardship and the day has fallen on the start or lent period and so i was trust God to help to join the two. I am blessed by the way Charlie Osewalt has married the two perfectly. I am blessed.
May the Lord God continue using you more.
I would like to gain more from God's treasured deposits in you.
Thank you
KENYA(AFRICA)

kabugo james

May 5, 2017 8:36 PM
thanks for the good information here

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