Four Faces of Jesus

4: The Ox

Posted: Thursday, May 29th, 2014
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About Four Faces of Jesus Series

Join Martha as she delves deeper into the four symbols of Christ's being, given to us that we may better glimpse the fascinating mystery that is Jesus.


Philippians 2:5-7 NASB
Have this attitude in yourselves 
which was also in Christ Jesus, who, 
although He existed in the form of God, 
did not regard equality with God 
a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, 
taking the form of a bond servant 
and being made in the likeness of men.

We imagine Jesus in a simple robe of the servant, clean and white.  But Jesus was servant in the dirty places, the earthy grind of the lowly ox.  He “emptied Himself” and made the choice to serve, to tread out life under the yoke of earth-bound oxen service.  He touched contagious lepers, faced the violently insane, and ate from the plate of the vile.

No level of grubby humanity was above His friendship.  And no needs of the common were scorned by Him.

Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary…
and they took offense at Him.
Mark 6:3 ESV

Jesus, Holy and Begotten, was considered an illegitimate son – not the legal son of Joseph, but remembered as the shameful boy of Mary.  How He tasted the reputation of the outcast and the scorned!  A common laborer, not a princely priest.  A Man who worked with the wood of everyday needs in cradles and coffins, and not in idle philosophy.  Such filthy ordinariness could not carry such divine greatness, or so they reasoned.

The book by Mark shows us Jesus: touchable, easily entreated.  The woman bent by her sickness, crawled through the crowd and touched Him.  Her desperate need, His pleasure to heal.  Wherever He entered… imploring Him “that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were being cured” (Mark 6:56 NASB).

He used earthy ways, spat on his fingers and healed a deaf mute.  Made mud from spit and dirt and healed blind eyes.  He felt compassion for the hungry multitude, aware they hadn’t eaten in three days.  “If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way…” (Mark 8:3).  The Servant is tenderly aware of the unsaid need of the little ones He serves.

Jesus, gentle toward the frailty of mankind, was ever practical, always the servant of human crisis, the solver of human dilemmas and even… food for human hunger.  Jesus, the Perfect Servant, laboring in the common basics.  Grinding like the ox in the dirt of mankind’s mess.

Copyright © 2002 Martha Kilpatrick, Four Faces of Jesus

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