Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “ The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on ME.” For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We are called as Christians to a radical self-denial. Christ is our Lord and Captain. We are to imitate him in all that we do and say; and here we learn that Jesus did not please himself. Rather he took reproach upon himself that was not due him, but us. This is the pinnacle of self-denial! It is like Samson, the man of faith who pushed the pillars of the temple down so that the Lord’s enemies would fall to their death. He pushed down the pillars and the reproach that was due them fell upon himself to the death. This is our Christ! The man of faith who defeated the armies of Satan and took the reproach that we were due. This reproach fell upon Jesus and it crushed him on Calvary. But unlike Samson, the rubble could not pile up high enough to keep him in the grave. He rose from his reproach and even now gathers his children into his arms to shelter us from life’s storms.
We are called as Christians to a radical self-denial. We fulfill the law of Christ by loving our neighbor as ourselves. Take note today how much love you actually have for yourself. You meet every one of your needs and desires each day. When you are hungry, you feed yourself; when you are thirsty, you get yourself something to drink. We are called to do that for our neighbor. We are called to do that for fellow brother’s and sister’s in Christ. Samson is intended to give us perseverance and encouragement; just like all of the Old Testament!