Mordecai the Jew became the prime minister, with authority next to that of King Xerxes himself. He was very great among the Jews, who held him in high esteem, because he continued to work for the good of his people and to speak up for the welfare of all their descendants. Esther 10:3 (NLT)
Mordecai was held in high esteem. He was considered great and in the end his life was marked by triumphant success. The reason given for this was simple: he looked out for the needs of others. The story of Esther is the story of deliverance for an entire people, but it would never have happened if Mordecai had not been diligent in being aware of all that was going on around him. It would not have happened if Mordecai had not loved Esther, taken her under his wing, and mentored her. It would not have happened had Mordecai not been willing to stand in the face of persecution when everyone else bowed in fear and appeasement. It would never have taken place had unless Mordecai considered the greater needs of his people more important than his own personal security.
As I read this morning, I was reminded of this passage from Paul’s letter to Philippian believers:
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Mordecai was a living example of this attitude that all followers of Jesus are told we must have.
It is Friday as I write this post. It was on a Friday that Jesus obediently hung on the cross for our sins as described above. In the deep tradition of Jesus’ followers, each Friday is a day of introspection and confession as we think about our own sins and shortcomings. As for me, I couldn’t help but feel a pang of sorrow as I read about Mordecai this morning. I confess that my life is so marked by thoughts of self. My attitude is so seldom about others and so often about me. My bad.
Lord Jesus Christ, son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.