By Any Other Name
If you were to ask any number of church leaders who they considered to be a great leader in the Bible, there are certain names that would come up time and again: Moses; Joshua; Peter; Paul; and – of course – Jesus. But for me, there’s one name that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with all the rest.
…what? What do you mean “Who?” You know: Abihud. He’s right there. Matthew 1:13. Go on. Check it out for yourself.
What’s In A Name?
If you look closely at the genealogy of Jesus, note that it includes a great many names that tend to roll off the tongues of Biblical scholars: David. Solomon. Abraham. Isaac. Jacob. A deeper investigation will show that a number of the progenitors of the line of Joseph, Mary’s husband, were kings. Royalty. Prophets. Priests. All great leaders in their own right.
And then, we have the Abihuds. The ones whose names do not seemingly carry the same weight of importance. Admittedly, the “Big Names” outnumber the “Small Names,” but they’re there nonetheless, contributing to a bloodline that culminated in the birth of the earthly father to our Messiah.
Leaves of Grass
For all we know, Abihud may have been the first-century equivalent of a desk worker who thinks that no one is noticing them…but God did. He may not have been the “go-to” guy in the Temple when they were looking for a lay leader to step up, but Abihud may have been as obedient in his life as Abraham was. God saw within him something that was built for glory, something that showed he would honor the path and journey his life was to take him on.
God saw something in him that mattered, and God took care of his legacy.
God honored and used him in a mighty way, simply because he lived the life he was supposed to live, doing what he was called to do. What he may have been called to do was to simply be the best husband, the best father, the best Abihud he could be, and he was.
We tend to look up to the “Big Names,” the ones with the three-book deals, the podcasts, the DVD series, and we want to try and use them as the template for what makes great leadership. We want to emulate the ones whose names we think will matter. We forget that God uses the Big and the Small, but more importantly, we forget that God can and does use the unique “us” of who we are.
And that Abihud was as good as leader as David, who was as good a leader as you are, can be, and will be.
“That you are here – that life exists, and identity;
“That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.” – Walt Whitman