Romans 16:23; 1 Corinthians 12:18
Quartus, the brother. I doubt his name registers with the same familiarity as Paul, Peter, Elijah, David, or any one of a hundred folks we meet in the Bible. Asking someone about Quartus is like asking if they’ve seen a Harold Lloyd movie lately- “Harold WHO?!?” By the way, I love Harold Lloyd movies.
And Quartus is one of my favorite Bible people. Because to me he represents the great mass of everyone you never heard of who make up the vast majority of the Body of Christ. There are lots of traditions about him, but the only words found in the inspired Word of God are the simple greeting Paul sends. His name means “Fourth,” and could be a reference to his being the fourth son in the family. He’s referred to as “the brother,” which could refer to him being literally a brother to his three siblings. But more likely, given the context, Paul is using the term in the sense of the uni-versal brotherhood among Christians. The fact that our most pre-cious relationships and most reliable and unflinching friends will be found among our eternal family in Christ.
The great mass is made up of people you’ll never hear a lot about. People who exemplify faithfulness because they are… FAITHFUL. They love Christ and His church. They love people. They find delight in being busy doing their Master’s work, they might even think it’s fun. They exert a positive influence for the Kingdom, and many of them suffer incredibly under persecution, even to death. “Well done, good and faithful servant,” is what they desire to hear, and that only from the Lord. They have decid-ed to follow Jesus, and pursuing fame or recognition is nowhere in their mind. They are learning that God put them in the Body to be actively using the resources He gives them to glorify Him and build the Body up in love. If you had to be identified by one adjec-tive, “the brother” or “the sister” wouldn’t be a bad one.
- You don’t have to be famous or have name recognition to do essential work in the Kingdom of God. God puts you where He wants you, equips you with resources to use, and blesses the honest efforts you put in.
A “thank you” from those you serve can be a nice thing. That is different than the burning, pulsing drive to get recognition as your just due when serving the Lord and His Body. For example, Jesus emphasized extreme secrecy in benevolence (Matthew 6:1 -4). Those who feel they must “sound a trumpet” as they work in the Kingdom have received the only credit they will ever have: the fleeting and fickle adulation of man.
Be a faithful servant. Do things because they serve the purposes of God and honor Him. Shine your light “in such a way” that God gets the glory (Matthew 5:16). Then leave it in His hands. He’s a way better judge of what we can tolerate before becoming a leg-end in our own mind!