Scripture tells us to both live a life worthy of the gospel and consider ourselves unworthy of Jesus. These two commands do not contradict each other. While we seek to know Jesus, and start to see just how great a treasure He is, we will embody the same perspective as John when he said he was unworthy to be the slave of Jesus. We will also experience a desire to demonstrate the greatness of the gospel of Jesus through the way we live.
Unworthy means knowing Jesus for who he is. Worthy means living in such a way that shows the world who Jesus is. This is a summary of the life of a follower of Jesus. John the Baptist set an example for us when he declared:
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”John 1:29–34
Has this been your experience with Jesus? Are you willing and ready to declare to the world the greatness and majesty of our King and Saviour? I urge you to get to know Him better, to live in such a way that demonstrates your love for Jesus. Paul wrote instructions to the Ephesians for how to live with one another:
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.Ephesians 4:1–7
The call of Jesus through Paul is to build one another up in the gospel. We are to live a life together that shows how much we value our Lord and what He has done for us. We do this together, or not at all. Each one of us has been given grace, and each one of us is undeserving of the presence of Jesus. When we see ourselves as unworthy of Jesus, and yet accepted and loved by Him, we will obtain a source of stability and humility that will enable us to love another in a way that demonstrates the beauty of the gospel.
And along with the writer to the Hebrew believers, I urge you,
…since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.Hebrews 10:19–25