An employee had to resign his position from the company he had just joined. His mother had serious health issues and she was unable to watch his daughter who had special needs and needed constant supervision. Although he had siblings, they were unwilling to help their own mother. Thus, the responsibility to care for his mother fell upon his shoulders, even though it meant he would not be able to work. He needed the job and he needed help for his daughter but no family member was willing to step up. As he related to me in exasperation, “Nice guys finish last.”
This sentiment is rooted in the idea that the world is not fair. If one puts the need of others first, the rest of the world will walk all over them, taking advantage of their generosity. The only way to get ahead in this world is to look out for your own needs first. Don’t be a nice guy, be the best guy.
So the last will be first, and the first last.
Matthew 20:16 (ESV)
In God’s Kingdom, Jesus turns these worldly expectations upside down. He came to serve others first. Did people take advantage of Him? No doubt many who came to Him to be healed did not understand His mission but gladly accepted His kindness. Did people attempt to use Him? The pharisees wanted to make him a martyr to appease the Roman government. Did people betray Him? Twelve disciples spent every moment of over three years living and learning from Him. And in the end, He was betrayed by one of them and nearly all of His disciples abandoned Him when He was arrested, tortured, and crucified.
Nice guys finish last. Did Jesus finish last? After being spit upon, scourged and beaten, stripped naked and humiliated before thousands at the Cross, God raised Him from the dead and restored Him to His position in the universe-King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Jesus finished the race for us so that we could gain everlasting life and victory over death.
This does not guarantee that others will never take advantage of us, nor does it mean that we will always be successful in all of our endeavours. But it does guarantee that the moment we die, we will see Him first, the author and finisher of our faith! In this life, we will have tribulation and trials but we can take comfort and encouragement that if we confess our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, He will forgive us of our sins and allow us to enter into an eternal relationship with Him.
Thank you Jesus, for finishing the task set before You for our salvation!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.