In Matthew 22 Jesus tells a fascinating story to illustrate what the kingdom of heaven is like. This story is about a king who throws a wedding feast for his son. Only problem – when he sends out the invitations no one wants to come. So he sends out different servants and gives a more descriptive compelling invitation. Still no one wants to come. We’re told, instead, one goes off to his business, another to his field, while some of those invited treat the King’s servants shamefully, even murdering them!
After dealing with the murderers the King states, “The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy.” When I read that a couple weeks ago that word “worthy” caught my attention and I wondered what it is in Greek. I discovered it’s the word axios which means “inherent worth” as opposed to timios which means “attributed worth.” And I wondered, “What gives someone worth in God’s eyes?”
According to this passage, it’s responding to God’s invitation!
Every son or daughter of the king has inherent worth! A worth that never changes – even on our worst days! When someone enters into a relationship with the King of Kings His Holy Spirit comes to live in you – talk about becoming a walking treasure box! And your worth, your value is set for all eternity. The moment this happens you become an innie!
Whereas timios is based on things outside us. Timios (which can also be translated esteem, honor, respect) is constantly changing – dependent on what we have, what we do or what position we hold, or what other people think about us. This is why when someone gets a bunch of money or achieves a high position they build a huge monument (eg., Absalom 2 Samuel 18:18). Because Timios doesn’t last.
But here’s the really sad thing – the pursuit of Timios can get in the way of us responding to the King’s invitation.
Note what the people did instead of coming to the wedding feast, “they paid no attention d went off, one to his farm, another to his business…” Why did they prefer working to attending a wedding feast? If you think your value is outside you, that’s what you’re going to want to invest in!
Every single one of us was created with a deep desire to be valued because that’s how we were created to be. But when sin entered the picture…shame entered the picture. That sense that there’s something wrong with me, that I’m not enough. Which makes us want to hide and look to things outside to regain what’s been lost!
For years I’ve struggled whenever I drop the ball, blow it, say something stupid and see reflected in someone’s eyes I just dropped a number of notches in their estimate of me. I find myself saying “You’re such a loser!”
It wasn’t until spending time in the word during this quiet time in Matthew 22, where the Lord revealed I already have axios because of Jesus and how this differs from Timios that I realized what the real problem was. I had value, but was looking elsewhere for what I already had!!! How sad is that?
The next time I said something stupid, and saw my esteem plummet in someone’s eyes sure enough the first thing that came to mind was “I am such a loser.” But this time I didn’t top there! But continued, “what I’ve lost is timios but what really matters is axios, my true worth. And nothing I do or say or what others think can ever touch that!”
I can’t begin to tell you the peace this is bringing to my heart!