For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the off scouring of all things until now.
1 Corinthians 4:9-13
The text of 1 Corinthians 4:9-13 describing a true servant of Jesus Christ today might seem like a science fiction movie for many persons. The image many people have of a servant of Christ dictates far from a condemned to death, weak, dishonored, hungry and thirsty, naked, beaten, homeless, working with his own hands, cursed, suffering persecution and supporting all that. And it is because many who now claim to serve the Lord exhibited the opposite of what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 4:9-13.
From the pomp of the great Catholic basilicas and cathedrals to the huge extravaganza of Protestant mega churches seem to ridicule the apostle Paul. The fineness of the robes of popes, cardinals and bishops or the elegant costumes designer of modern Evangelical “apostles” do see that these “servants” of Christ do not walk or naked and starving or thirsty, quite the contrary.
Will there be servants of the Lord today as described by Paul? Definitely yes, but chances are neither famous nor popular. I’ve met some very closely. It is unlikely that we find them in the great churches, rather they are in the streets carrying the Word of God to the marginalized. They are also common in countries where Christians are persecuted, like the Islamic nations of Africa and the Middle East, India, Pakistan and China. You can find them among the tribes of the Amazon rainforest or in the slums of the big cities.
The constant of every genuine servant is going to teach biblical truths as they are, without accommodating the gospel to the taste of people. The true servant of Jesus Christ call sin by its name, will preach repentance and be a champion of holiness. The servant of God is committed to the truth and will not promise the audience that their problems will be solved when converted to Christ.
This servant will turn the other cheek and wash the feet of his disciples, instead of using them as squires or bodyguards. And as the true servant does not manipulate the congregation with tithes and offerings, the bread will surely win the other hand while preaching the Word.
And if his dedication to the expansion of the Kingdom does not allow him to work secularly, it is likely to be suffering from hunger, thirst, nakedness and lack of a roof up frequently. His peers who walk in a distorted line evangelistic will close the doors of their churches for fear of being discovered. They were also curse and persecute.
We see in 2 Timothy 3:12-13 the difference between the false and true servant: Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. God bless you.