At one point in my career, I was privileged to work in a Christian English Language school. The students came from all over the world. Some had degrees, one or two even had doctorates, and some had very little education at all. We had some pastors, some missionaries, some very new to the faith, and some of no faith at all. I had to be very careful how I paired them for practice, as younger Christians could feel very intimidated working as equal to a pastor, especially from some communities where pastors are very highly honoured! But all of them in my classes recognized me as their teacher, whatever their qualifications or status at home. It was a great leveller, being a student. I was aware of those differences, but gave each one the same respect, and the help that they needed.
God was aware of the differences in Egyptian society – between the officials and the ordinary; but he did not recognize them, he treated them all alike (Exodus 8:2-6). There were no extra portions of frogs for the rich and powerful – they all got their due rewards! For each one, sleep was disrupted, food contaminated, clothing disturbed, peace destroyed. Tranquillity could not be bought at any price. No authority in the whole country could command the frogs to withdraw. Even Pharaoh himself was not exempt this time. It was a real leveller. They really were in it together!
Galatians 3:28 makes us all level too – “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female;” so Christianity too, is a great leveller. But there is a huge difference. For students and Egyptians, there was a loss of status. But as the verse continues – “for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.” we see that we are all raised up far above any status that any of us could hope for. Belonging to Christ. Children of Abraham. Heirs of all God has promised us. Raised up with Christ through grace, and seated with him in heavenly places. Invested with incomparable riches of his grace. (Ephesians 2:6). Don’t envy the recently announced lottery winner his £108 million; we have won a jackpot that far surpasses that. His wealth ‘put him on a par with film stars’ so the announcer claimed. The position we have been exalted to goes way above that.
The question is not what we have, but how we handle it. God intends us to be so spiritually rich, yet we live like spiritual paupers. As an old song put it: “Keep looking down, you’re seated in the heavenlies…” And that goes for all of those who belong to Christ. Not just the pastors and missionaries. We’re in it, up there, together. How does that work out in my life and yours?