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The Errand Boy

Throughout history and even today errand boys are used to send messages that need to be personally delivered. The errand boy is not responsible for the message delivered nor the contents of the note or message. His responsibility is to deliver the message verbatim (word for word) of what the sender has commanded. It would be useless for the receiver to argue with the errand boy or messenger, since his job is to deliver the message.
In Mark 10:42-44 (Also Luke 22:25-26), Jesus speaks of the equivalent to the errand boy of which we just spoke. Upon hearing of the division that pride and self-exaltation had caused among His disciples, He instructed them in the structure of the brethren, “Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.” In order to understand
just exactly what Jesus said, we must understand the words that Jesus used. The one that will be great among you let him be an errand boy (Greek – diakonos – an attendant from diako – to run errands). He that will be chiefest, let him be a bond slave (Greek – doulos – a slave in subjection).
Reading this verse in context (as all teaching must be taught), we see James and John wanting a position in the Kingdom of God. They did not understand Jesus’ purpose as He Himself said in the next verse, “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Jesus asked them if they were willing to suffer, of which, without counting the cost, they positively affirmed. This humble teaching was directed to all who would take the responsibility (not position or dominion) of leadership in the church. There are no positions in the church purchased with the precious blood of Christ, only service to the brethren, from brethren! Positions breed pride, jealousy, self-will, and arrogance; but true love edifies. The elder has the responsibility to oversee the flock of God as the under-shepherd of the sheep.  Isn’t this what Paul meant in II Corinthians 1:24, “Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.” Is this not the responsibility of any leadership in the church?

 

God called Moses to lead His people out of Egypt to the Promised Land. Exodus 3:10. In his meekness, Moses said, “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh…?” This is the humble voice of a true servant of God. God sent Moses and Aaron as “errand boys” to Pharaoh, proclaiming, “Thus saith the Lord.” God told Moses that Pharaoh would not hearken unto his voice, “…no, not by a mighty hand.” This mighty hand was the hand of God upon Egypt and upon Pharaoh himself. Moses had no message to give Pharaoh but the message that God would put into his mouth. The miracles and plagues that came upon the Egyptians were by the hand of God. Who was Moses but a mouthpiece that proclaimed, “Thus saith the Lord”? 
When Moses led the children of Israel in the wilderness, it was by divine guidance day and night, a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Moses made no decision for the people apart from the Word of God. This is very clearly demonstrated in Numbers 16, when Korah,
Dathan, and Abiram rose up before Moses. They led a group against him that said, “Ye take too much upon you….” Did not these men see the miracles by the hand of God? Did Moses create the pillars of cloud and fire, the plagues, and the miracles? Who was Moses, but a mouthpiece that proclaimed, “Thus saith the Lord”? Moses knew that he was only a servant of God and said so in verses 28-29, “And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind. If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the LORD hath not sent me.” These men and their families were destroyed for rebellion against the Word of God from the mouth of His servant Moses, as we see in Numbers 26:9, “…This is that Dathan and Abiram…who strove against Moses and against Aaron in the company of Korah, when they strove against the LORD.” They did not strive against Moses, but against the Word of God that Moses spoke. Notice that they were not condemned by Moses’ opinion for Moses spoke what God had commanded him.
The story of Moses is a reverent warning to all who would take upon themselves the role of God as Moses did in Numbers 20:10, “And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?” Here Moses spake unadvisedly with his lips, as Psalms 106:33 tells us. He began to take the credit for the work of God, just as “rulers and lords” in the church. He was very sincere, but he was sincerely wrong!