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In the fable of the ant and the grasshopper, the ant is portrayed as wise because he prepares for winter while the grasshopper lacks the common sense to acknowledge its approach and thus suffers and dies. God seemingly did infuse the ant with an instinct to cooperate and work for the common good of the colony.

God tells the lazy person to observe the ant and be wise. (Proverbs 6:6) Some species cut leaves upon which they float across streams. Others form a chain of bodies to span open spaces, while some wage war and make forced laborers of the prisoners they capture. The ants have a queen, but seem to know their roles in the colony without generals.

There is no way that Christians, much less people in general, could truly comprehend what Jesus Christ did in leaving heaven to become human. (Philippians 2:1-9) But we might gain some small insight into what that involved by using ourselves and the ant as an illustration. Who do you know who would become an ant in order to communicate with a colony? We understand that the ants would either kill or force into slavery any outsider. Jesus knew beforehand that He would be disbelieved, mocked, demonized and crucified for the totally unselfish act of trying to save and bring sinful mankind back to the Father.

For a human to become an ant, he would have to give up family, friends, music, art, and so many other joys. Jesus gave up the marvels of heaven, the close love and fellowship with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

The huge gap in our illustration is that we didn’t create nor love the ant. Jesus both created and loved human beings. He wants us to appreciate and return that kind of love to God and our fellow humans. 

Jim Bailey
via Northwest church of Christ
Westminster, CO

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