Useful Bible Studies > Romans Commentary > chapter 15

Jesus did not try to please himself

Romans 15:3

Through his life on earth, Jesus refused to do anything for his own selfish advantage (see Matthew 4:8-10). Instead, he did the things that God the Father wanted him to do (John 5:19). He spoke the words that God the Father wanted him to say (John 8:28). His decision was to obey God the Father completely, in every matter (Mark 14:36).

As he did that, Jesus accepted insults (Mark 3:22 and 15:29-32) and shame (Hebrews 13:12-13). Paul describes this in Romans 15:3 with words from Psalm 69:9.

Psalm 69 describes a person who is loyal to God. However, the enemies of this person have attacked him fiercely, without any proper reason. So, in the Psalm, he prays desperately to God. He is sure that God will act on his behalf. In the end, God will certainly rescue his people.

The first Christians were aware that several verses in that Psalm described events in Jesusí life (John 2:17 and Psalm 69:9; Acts 1:20 and Psalm 69:25). In fact, Jesus himself used the Psalm to describe his own experience (John 15:25 and Psalm 69:4).

Paul gives no explanation here of why Jesus accepted those insults. Instead, he changes the subject, and he leaves us to think about that question for ourselves.

We think that Paulís answer must match his advice to Christians in Romans 15:1-2. Jesus came, not to please himself, but to serve other people (Mark 10:45). Therefore, Christians should copy his attitudes in their own lives. They must not think too much about their own importance, profit or pleasure. Instead, they must show love to other people; in particular, they must help weaker people.

Next part: The Bible teaches, encourages and gives us hope (Romans 15:4)


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© 2018, Keith Simons.