Read Esther 10
The Proper Use of Power
King Ahasuerus honored Mordecai because he had warned the king about a plot against him. The last verse of the book of Esther reads, “For Mordecai the Jew was second to King Ahasuerus, and was great among the Jews and well received by the multitude of his brethren, seeking the good of his people and speaking peace to all his countrymen” (Esther 10:3). Esther’s cousin did not abuse the power that was given to him but used it to promote and protect his people.
It is difficult to do something for someone else if they do not trust you, isn’t it? Part of the reason Mordecai was able to succeed is that he was “well received by the multitude of his brethren.” Certainly, there would be some who did not like him, but in general, Mordecai was respected and well-liked.
God issued a qualification along these lines for the elders of the church. The spiritual qualifications that relate to a man’s character would garner some respect within the church – he must be “blameless” when it comes to his character (1 Timothy 3:2). But God went beyond that. “Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside” (1 Timothy 3:7). An elder must have the same reputation as an ethical, upstanding person both inside and outside the church!
Notice what Mordecai did for the Jews in his position of power: “seeking the good of his people and speaking peace to all his countrymen.” Does an elder in the church not have the same duties?
Paul urged the elders in Ephesus to “shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28). The members of the church are charged with treating the elders well because of this grave responsibility. “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you” (Hebrews 13:17).
Those who serve as elders must serve with honor, “nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:3). Those who serve under the elders, serve in peace, “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).