[b]A Glorious Ministry For Every Believer[/b]
[i]by Zac Poonen[/i]
Melchizedek appears in only three verses in the entire Bible and yet our Lord is called a High Priest after his name (Genesis 14:18-20)! What did Melchizedek do that was so wonderful? Abraham was returning from a battle where he had just defeated 14 kings and their armies and rescued his nephew Lot and his family, whom those kings had captured. So Abraham stood there that day, physically exhausted and facing the twin dangers of pride and covetousness. But God cared for Abraham and spoke to another servant of His, to help him. Melchizedek met the needs of Abraham without knowing anything about those needs, because He did what God told him to do.
First of all, he took some food for Abraham. Melchizedek was a sensible man! He wasnt one of those super-spiritual types who feel that spiritual people must be ascetics! He didnt tell Abraham to fast and pray but gave him a good meal! Thats a good example for us to follow to take a meal for some tired, exhausted brother or sister. After giving him the food, Melchizedek helped Abraham spiritually too - not by preaching to him, but by praising God for Abrahams victory in two brief sentences. He said, "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High Who has delivered your enemies into your hand." (Gen.14:19,20).Melchizedek probably spent two hours feeding Abraham and his servants and then spent 15 seconds praising God. But in Melchizedeks brief expression of praise, Abraham realised two things. First of all, Abraham realised that he belonged to a God Who owned the heavens and the earth. That delivered him from coveting the goods of the king of Sodom that he had just recovered. Even though Sodoms riches must have been considerable, since Sodom was a very wealthy place, Abraham now saw that all that booty was like worthless garbage compared to the heaven and earth that his God owned. Melchizedek helped Abraham to see clearly Whom he belonged to. Secondly, Abraham saw clearly that it was not he and his 318 servants who had defeated those kings, but God! That was another revelation - and that saved Abraham from pride. Again Melchizedek succeeded in turning Abrahams attention away from his victory to God! The best preacher is the one who can turn our attention away from ourselves and our accomplishments to the Lord Himself.
And now we come to the best part of this story. Melchizedek disappeared after blessing Abraham. We never read of him again in the Bible. His name appears only as a type of Christ. Melchizedek must have been praying in his tent that morning, when God spoke to him and told him what to do. He didnt know Abraham, but he knew God. And that was enough. God told him what to do and made him a blessing to many. What a ministry we priests of Melchizedeks order are called to! We are to bless people, physically and spiritually - and then disappear before we are even thanked!
Do you want people to think you are a great man of God or do you want them to know that you have a great God. Therein lies the difference between a religious ministry and a spiritual one. Therein lies the difference between the priesthood of Aaron and the priesthood of Melchizedek. Aaron constantly appeared before people and got honour from them. Melchizedek served people and disappeared!
This is how Jesus Himself ministered during His earthly days. He went around meeting the spiritual and physical needs of people who were beaten in lifes battles. And He never wanted anyone to advertise His healings. He never wanted to be known as a Healer. He never wanted to be a king. He came to serve others and to lay down His life for them. He didnt want to be famous. He didnt even want to prove to Herod, or Pilate, or Annas, or Caiaphas, that He was the Son of God, by appearing to any of them after His resurrection. He never appeared to a single one of the Pharisees or Sadducees after His resurrection, because He didnt want to justify Himself before men. He knew that the opinions of men were fit only for the garbage bin! Alas, where shall we find such preachers and leaders in Christendom today?
Just think what would happen if we began to live like Melchizedek, listening to God and seeking to know from Him what we should do, each day. It would be the most useful way any of us could live on this earth. The psalmist says, "Goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life" (Psa.23:6).That is the way to live. Wherever we go, we must leave behind us some act or word of forgiveness and goodness. When Peter described the life and ministry of Jesus to Cornelius, he summed it up in one sentence in Acts 10:38 : "Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and He went about doing good and delivering those who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him". This is the result of being genuinely anointed with the Holy Spirit : God will be with us and we will go around blessing people and setting them free.
You couldnt come in contact with Jesus in His earthly days, without some good emanating from Him to you that would bless you both spiritually and physically. The woman who had a haemorrhage for 12 years discovered that, when she touched the hem of His garment. Arent we too called to live such a life where those who come in touch with us are blessed - physically and spiritually? We are all called to be priests according to the order of Melchizedek.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon