I’m thinking about heroes. I saw the Dallas Mavericks beat the San Antonio Spurs in the last 1.7 seconds when Vince Carter, the grand ole slam dunker, hit a 3 point miracle shot from the corner-just as the clock expired! The arena exploded with a roar of approval and Carter was an instant hero! Fast forgotten was the 10 point-five for five performance by Monta Ellis in the 4th quarter. This is life in sports. Hero today, a goat tomorrow.
Not so in real life. At least not so in my life. My heroes are less transient, more durable. deeper in character, cause and content.
Take a minute and read Philippians 2:25-30. The prisoner on death row is writing to a church that has befriended him. The prisoner of Caesar is the Apostle Paul. While in that jail cell, Paul has a visitor from Philippi- his friend Epaphroditus.
Epaphroditus nearly died trying to get to Rome to visit the beloved Apostle. Sickness on the journey slowed him but did not stop him. He arrived at Paul’s cell bearing gifts from his home church. The prisoner is encouraged and greatly blessed by the sacrifice Epaphroditus has made. When he writes to the Philippians he tells the church how grateful he is for Epaphroditus and tells us all to “hold such men in high regard.” I really like that-hold the humble servant types in high regard!
My point is this- many true heroes are those behind the scenes folks that do the hard work to makes a leader successful. Epaphroditus is described as a brother (in the Lord), a fellow servant, fellow soldier, and fellow minister in the Gospel. That “fellow” adjective means he was not THE guy, not THE man, but only a side-kick that made THE guy Paul better! Let’s thank God for Sidekick moms, dads, friends, co-workers who never raise the trophy but none the less are Heroes! As a mater of fact, in this Philippians letter the prisoner told us who his greatest hero is. He even tells us how to be heroic people, by emulating his hero:
“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.” Phil.2:6-10 NLB