The Unnamed Hero
20 Jun 2016
When my sister produced my mother’s first grandchild, there was a dilemma regarding what the new grandmother was to be called. Nanna? Nan? Granny? My Mum balked at them all. After a few weeks of indecision, my sister said she would be referring to Mum as “No-Name” until she chose a title. Well that did not last long. After a few times of being handed the baby with phases like, “go to No-Name” “No-Name will look after you”, my Mum quickly settled on ‘Bevie’. Let’s face it, no one really wants to be referred to as No-Name, we want to be known for who we are.
Yet truly serving the Lord for his sake, not our own agendas, is a no-name kind of business. When the disciples started arguing about who was to be the greatest among them, Jesus modelled Kingdom leadership by washing their feet. That’s lowly, get down and dirty, handling smelly feet kind of serving.
There are many people in the bible that played significant roles in human history that are mentioned but are not named. They are the un-named people of the bible. Luke 8:1-3 says “After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary…; Joanna…; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.” Jesus is walking the roads with his trusty twelve disciples, and there are also women walking with them. Mary, Joanna and Susanna are mentioned, but Luke tells us there were many others. These un-named women are literally following Jesus. These, our anonymous sisters from the past, were financially providing for Jesus from their own means. They were Jesus support team. We don’t know their stories, how Jesus touched their lives, or what sacrifices they made to leave their homes and follow him. Did they have families and responsibilities that they put aside to serve the Lord?
I am so inspired by these un-named ones. It’s so tempting to want acknowledgement and significance when I serve, especially if it hurts me a bit to do it! Yet serving the Lord is all about impressing our audience of one: our father God. Perhaps you are one of those men or women who are faithfully following your Lord Jesus, and what you do goes largely unseen, and people don’t even remember your name. Be encouraged, your life counts for much, and there is one set of eyes that sees every act of kindness, and every sacrifice made. Isaiah 43:1 says “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” He knows your name.
We live in an era of “me”, where we constantly promote ourselves, sharing our moments on social media, and tagging our selfies. Let’s not balk at the call to No-Name seasons in our lives, following the Lord as one of those “many others”, knowing that it’s a sweet secret just between ourselves and our heavenly father.