The next day Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning till evening. When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening?” And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God; when they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make them know the statutes of God and his laws.” Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good. You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone. Now obey my voice; I will give you advice, and God be with you! You shall represent the people before God and bring their cases to God, and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do. Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. If you do this, God will direct you, you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace.”
So Moses listened to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. And they judged the people at all times. Any hard case they brought to Moses, but any small matter they decided themselves. Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went away to his own country. Exodus 18:13-27 ESV
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Romans 12:3-5 ESV
The human body is really an amazing thing. The body has a number of different systems, and they all work together. There’s the respiratory system, which brings oxygen into the body and gets rid of carbon dioxide and other wastes. The circulatory system carries the oxygen around to the different cells of the body, and carries waste away from the cells. The digestive system takes in nutrition and changes it into energy. The nervous system controls the body and makes sure all the other systems are functioning properly, but it couldn’t function without oxygen and nutrition being carried to it. If any of the body systems fail, the body will become very sick and, sooner or later, it will die.
Moses forgot that he was part of a larger body of people, and that God was with and over all of them. He might have been a little like the brain or the nervous system, in charge and making sure the community was running smoothly, but he would soon have worn himself out without getting some support and help from other people. His father-in-law Jethro was wise enough to see that, and gave Moses the good advice to let other people from Israel help him carry the burden of solving problems. Moses listened to Jethro and took his advice, and this was a good thing for both him and all the other people as well.
As Christians, God has also put us into a body of people. We are not alone with our faith. God is with all his people together, and he helps us work together and help each other. Different people have different jobs to do, but all the jobs are important. We belong to each other, and we all belong to Jesus. He is the head of our body. When he died on the cross for us he made us his people, and brought us together into a body to serve him and each other with the love he gives us every day.
Dear Jesus, thank you for making us your own and for giving us each other to love and help. Amen.