“You think you already have everything you need. You think you are already rich. You have begun to reign in God’s kingdom without us! I wish you really were reigning already, for then we would be reigning with you. Instead, I sometimes think God has put us apostles on display, like prisoners of war at the end of a victor’s parade, condemned to die. We have become a spectacle to the entire world—to people and angels alike.” 1 Corinthians 4:8-9
Paul said that he and the other apostles were a spectacle of the world. The people of Rome were familiar with this image. The government kept people pacified by presenting entertainment in different cities. The amphitheaters would be filled with citizens, eager to see men complete in games and prisoners fighting with beasts. When the main event ended, then the poorest and weakest were brought in to fight with the beast. No body expected too much from their performance. Paul is saying that the Corinthians felt that they were kings in the kingdom of God, when in reality they were nothing. Paul said that the apostles were just like the ones that battled the beast at the end of the entertainment event. The Corinthians had come to think too much of themselves. They had lost the humility that it takes to serve God. They were like the sons of thunder, James and John; they wanted to be great in the kingdom of God, when Jesus told them that they needed to be servants. We see so many people in our churches today that want to reign and not serve. I was called to the ministry many years ago and I feel the same way that I did when I was called. God made a mistake. I am so unworthy to even be called a Child of God must less a minister. There is no place for pride in the ministry. If a truly great leader like Paul considers himself last on exhibition in the program, where does this leave the rest of us.