Yesterday we walked with Jesus as He chose His ministry partners. They weren’t the most popular guys either. I want to look a little deeper into one particular man Jesus chose to follow Him in His ministry. By choosing this man, Jesus died to His reputation and laid the foundation of how He would continue to rely on His reputation as the Son of God rather than seek to make a name or reputation for Himself while on earth.
“As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office, and He said to him, ‘Follow Me!’ So he got up and followed Him.
While He was reclining at the table in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came as guests to eat with Jesus and His disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked His disciples, ‘Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’
But when He heard this, He said, ‘Those who are well don’t need a doctor, but the sick do. Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:9-13
Jesus lived because He died to the idea of creating a reputation for Himself. He rested in the knowledge and security of who He was in His Father’s eyes. We too can have this same life and rest when we view ourselves for who we truly are: children of God. Emily Freeman from Chatting at the Sky gives a great insight into Jesus’s example of dying to reputation in her book Graceful:
“Character is about who you are. Reputation is about who people think you are…Knowing there were people who disagreed with and even hated him [Jesus] didn’t cause him to change one thing he did. He wasn’t working to maintain a good image, He was walking in dependence on His Father. Jesus didn’t value what people thought; He valued people, period.”
Today are you walking in dependence on your Father God or are you busy trying to maintain an image that will fail apart from Christ. Jesus modeled for us our purpose on earth is to share the gospel with not the righteous, not the church members, not our holy huddle, but to the lost and dying world around us. We are called “to be imitators of God, as dearly loved children; to walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2) Living like Christ is Dying to Reputation.