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Lesser Stars In God’s Show

"Azor" is a Bible name, but a very obscure one. It occurs only twice in the Bible in successive verses found in Matthew 1:13-14. The Holman Bible Dictionary article on "Azor" reads as follows: "Personal name of an ancestor of Jesus." That's it. That's the full report on Azor. We know his father's name was "Eliakim" (Matthew 1:13), and that Azor had at least one son named "Zadok" (Matthew 1:14). But that's all there is to tell about Azor. He sits in a long list of names that traces the lineage of Jesus from Abraham down to King David and then on down to Joseph and Mary and finally Jesus Christ Himself. Azor is but a single link: in a chain of generations that stretches some 1,800 years from Abraham to our Lord Jesus Christ who was born to the virgin Mary, a name we all know very well. Azor makes me think of a statement I heard in a sermon by black evangelist G.P. Holt about 35 years ago: "You don't have to be a star to be in God's show." No place in the Bible drives that point home better than the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Matthew 1:1-17 lists some of the most widely known names in the Bible — Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Solomon. These men played major roles in God's eternal plan to bring the Messiah into the world. But there were lesser known personalities, too. The take home point from the genealogy is that whether they were "stars" or had "supporting" roles, all were actors in the divine play, each entering the stage, playing their part, and moving the drama a little farther along. Finally, when the fulness of the time had come (Galatians 4:4), the play reached its climatic moment when the main Star, and in the ultimate sense the only real Star, showed up — Jesus Christ, the son of God!

The church Jesus built needs to learn a lesson from the genealogy of Christ. We don't all have the same role. But just because we aren't a "star" doesn't mean we aren't important in God's show! Of necessity, the church has people who are "out-front" and 'center-stage." Preachers. teachers, elders, and other persons, by the very nature of the role they play and the way they serve, are more visible and widely known in the congregation than others. But the Bible teaches the church is a body where every member is needed and significant and important, and where all the members -- whether feet or hands or ears or eyes —are all conjoined and dependent upon each other. And it teaches that there is only one Head — Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12ff; Ephesians 1:22-23). There is only room for One at the top!

A story about President Teddy Roosevelt has him in a receiving line one evening, greeting people at a White House function. He always had an aide who would whisper the name of each guest ahead of time so the president could greet each one by name. Roosevelt looked down the line and asked his aide, "Who's this fella?" The aide said, "Oh, you know him, Mr. President. He made your pants." As the man reached the front of the line, Roosevelt greeted him — "Oh, yes, Major Pants, we're so glad you're here today. Welcome to the White House." Presidents need majors, but tailors play a vital role, too, whether recognized or not! The church needs Abrahams, and it needs Azors, too. We all have a role to play in God's work here on earth. Whether our role is great or small, let us play our part to His honor and glory.

Dan Gulley,
Smithville church of Christ