A great reward for a small sacrifice
“For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”
There are people who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. But what is a eunuch? What does it mean to be a eunuch for the kingdom?
Eunuch for the King
A bed keeper; the superintendent of the women’s apartment or harem; an emasculated man; one naturally incapacitated for marriage or begetting children; one who voluntarily abstains from marriage
In a broad sense, the term eunuch could include someone who is voluntarily celibate, however in the traditional sense of the word, a eunuch was someone who had been castrated and no longer had any capacity for sexual desire or reproduction.
In ancient times, eunuchs were chosen as servants in the royal court. They were considered loyal, reliable, trustworthy and devoted servants. Because they had sacrificed their desire and could have no children of their own, they were entrusted to manage the royal harem.
A Eunuch’s Role
Ester 2:3, 8-9
“Let the king appoint overseers in all the provinces of his kingdom that they may gather every beautiful young virgin to the citadel of Susa, to the harem, into the custody of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women; and let their cosmetics be given them.
…So it came about when the command and decree of the king were heard and many young ladies were gathered to the citadel of Susa into the custody of Hegai, that Esther was taken to the king’s palace into the custody of Hegai, who was in charge of the women. Now the young lady pleased him and found favor with him. So he quickly provided her with her cosmetics and food, gave her seven choice maids from the king’s palace and transferred her and her maids to the best place in the harem.
Hegai was the eunuch in charge of King Ahasuerus’ harem. When Queen Vashti displeased the king, she was banned from his presence and a new queen was sought out. A selection of beautiful young virgins were accepted into king’s harem for a time of preparation. During this time Hegai the eunuch served the king by overseeing the preparation of the potential brides.
For a year the young women were prepared for the king, with Ester receiving the best preparations. At the end of the year, Ester was presented to the king. The king was immediately pleased with Ester’s radiant beautiful and he took Ester as his bride and queen.
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”
Like Ester, the bride of Christ must be prepared for her King. Just as Ester had to go through a process of preparation in order to become the bride, so we cannot become the bride of Christ without spiritual preparation. As such, simply calling ourselves the bride of Christ is not enough. A bride is someone who is actively preparing for marriage. If we are to be the bride, we need to actively get ready. If we are to get ready, then we need to know how to prepare our hearts for Christ. It is for this purpose that the One with Christ studies have been written. The goal of the studies is that each individual believer would be prepared to become Jesus’ bride and know the reality of becoming one with Christ.
Leaders of Love
Thus if the church is to become the bride of Christ then we need leaders who will focus us on love and help us to get ready for Jesus. We need people who will be like Hegai and will prepare us for love. We need spiritual eunuchs.
2 Corinthians 11:2-3
For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
Like Paul, spiritual eunuchs labor to present each person as a pure virgin to Christ. They speak the word of love and unity, so that each individual bride of Christ might fall in love with Jesus. They speak the word of purity so that each heart may be prepared for His presence. They serve the King by serving the Bride, knowing that each bride will be an immense blessing of love to Jesus.
In 2 Corinthians Paul writes to call people away from false teachers who exalted themselves and led people away from devotion to Christ. They did not call people to love God with all their heart. Instead, these teachers led people to depend on them, rather than prepare them solely for Christ. They led people into works rather than grace and so defiled the bride and ruined her preparations. They distracted the bride away from the Bridegroom and kept her from truly loving Him.
The same is true in our time. If the church is to become the bride then we need leaders who will prepare us for Jesus. Without leaders who prepare and empower us to love, we will be like the foolish virgins who miss out on the wedding feast. We will live and die without knowing the reality of loving Jesus as our Bridegroom. So like the believers at Corinth, we urgently need correction. We need people who will call us to return to the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. We need leaders who will lead us back to our first love and who will give us a clear vision and goal: to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to become one with Him. Will you be one of these leaders?
We cannot lead others where we have not been ourselves. So if we want the ministry of the spiritual eunuch, we must first give ourselves to loving God with all our heart and becoming one with Him. Having entered into marriage to Christ, we can then become a eunuch for the kingdom. As we take on this ministry, we will discover the unique joy of serving Jesus by preparing His bride.
And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified, behold, He is baptizing and all are coming to Him.” John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven. You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ’I am not the Christ,’ but, ’I have been sent ahead of Him.’ He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full. He must increase, but I must decrease.”
As we see the each bride fall in love with Jesus, we will know riches that surpass understanding. We will experience the awesome joy of seeing Jesus deeply blessed as He finds new love. Our joy will be made full as we see Jesus come to take His bride, having accepted her as pure, clean, prepared and full of love.
One Small Sacrifice
In becoming a spiritual eunuch, we must first make a small sacrifice for such a great reward. Just as eunuchs sacrificed their sexual desire through castration, so our sacrifice is that we give up all desire for the bride and live only for our King’s pleasure. So what does this mean practically?
It means that we no longer regard the affection or respect of people. We do not seek our own ministry or reputation. We do not lead people to depend on us, our message, or our ministry. We do not take the place of the Spirit in people’s lives. We do not elevate ourselves. Instead our sole focus is on preparing the bride for Jesus. At every point, we compel the bride to turn to Jesus. We constantly call people to give their lives to loving Him. We build faith and desire in the bride for Jesus. We relentlessly fight against everything that would spoil or stain the bride, striving to present her clean, pure, and ready for His love.
So please. Please. The bride of Christ needs you. Prepare your heart. Seek God to make you one with Christ. Die to yourself that you may live as a eunuch for Him. Give yourself to preparing the bride to love Jesus with all her heart and to become one with Him. Please answer His call and know the joy of seeing Jesus and His bride fall in love, time and again.