Christ Did Not Please Himself but Pleased the Father—Romans 15:3
"For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me" (Romans 15:3)
While on this earth Jesus did not seek that of his own interests, instead he was about his Father's business. We see this theme running throughout the gospels dating clear back to when he was twelve and his parents found him in the temple listening and asking questions. When they finally found him after searching intently, they asked why he had treated them in such a manner. He answered, "Why were you searching for me? Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" ( Luke 2:49 ). One way to put it was that it was necessary for him to be in His Father's house and occupied with His business. His parents didn't understand this at the time, but thankfully for us Jesus was consumed with the Father's will and accomplishing it on earth.
Today's passage is a reminder that we are to consider Christ, who looked not to his own interest or to pleasing himself, but instead looked to pleasing God. David prophesied about the Christ when he said, "for zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me" ( Psalm 69:9 ). Christ faced much opposition in this life but he gave no thought to these things. He was focused and on His mission the entire time. He was intent on doing the redemptive work that the Father gave him. Love and fervor for His house consumed him. This is evident in the things that Jesus said and did. He constantly reminded the disciples that he only said what the Father said and he only did what he saw the Father do ( John 5:19 ). He said that the works he did testified to the fact that he came from the Father. ( John 10:25 ). He was consumed with his mission and showed us the Father by who he was. Hebrews says, "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being" ( Hebrews 1:3a ). Everything that God is can be seen and understood by knowing Christ; he is the exact representation of the Father for us. This was accomplished because He looked not to please himself but to please God and do His will.
As believers we are to follow Christ's example. Romans 15 begins by saying, "We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me." ( Romans 15:1-3 ). When we are seeking the interests of God and His kingdom we are building up each other in the truth because we are operating as God operates. Not only will we encourage our brothers and sisters in living this way, but we are showing Christ to the world. I John 4:17 says, "In this world we are like him", the King James Bible says it this way, "because as he is, so are we in this world". Just as Christ was the exact representation of God to the world so that we could understand him, we are the exact representation of Christ in this world. This likeness was deposited in our born again spirits so if we live out of this new nature then the world around us will see Christ and know the Father by our actions.
What an amazing truth to know and understand. We should not look to our own interests but we should be looking to God and operating in his will for our lives. We should be consumed with His house and busy about His business. We are to consider Christ as our example and pursue the kingdom in everything we do building up and encouraging the body and showing God's love to the world.