In life’s greatest contests, everyone wants to come in first place because no one really remembers those who come in second. But someone has to. Not everyone gets to sit at the head of the table, but in no way does that make them less important. The Bible is filled with stories of those who come in ‘second place,’ who are largely unnoticed by others, but are still upheld as examples of obedience and faith.
One of the most unnoticed characters in the Old Testament is Jonathan, the son of Israel’s first king. Jonathan was next in line to follow in his father’s footsteps. Had God not intended to bring Saul’s failed dynasty to an end, Jonathan would have indeed been king. And yet nowhere do we read in 1 Samuel that Jonathan is resentful about it. Instead, he was a friend to David and demonstrated great loyalty even though it meant he would not be king. David would be the next king, and Jonathan would be passed over. He was content with second place.
Jonathan is a picture of humility and a willingness to be second. We live in a world that constantly says that you are number one. Selfishly looking out for our own best interests comes natural to us. Humility is certainly one of those character traits that we praise in others, but don’t necessary seek for ourselves. Jonathan’s willingness to yield the spotlight to David merely illustrates the humility of the Christian life. Rather than living as rock stars in our own minds, our lives must be gospel platforms that point others to David’s greater Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Even Jesus Himself, the One who is Lord above all, made Himself of no reputation and took the form of a humble Servant. We must follow in His steps.
“Father, thank You for the gift of Your Son. Help me today to realize that life is not about me, but is all about Jesus. May my life be a simple platform for His grace and glory to be on display for others to see. Amen.”