THE FACE OF AN OX
We need not only the face of a man and the face of a lion but also a third face, the face of an ox. Though you may be always as bold as a lion in your office, that alone will never convince people. You need to be balanced by having the face of an ox. What is an ox? An ox is one who is willing to bear the burden, to do the work, and even to sacrifice himself. We all must have such an appearance, such a reality of serving others, bearing the burden, caring for the responsibility, even sacrificing our life. If you are working in an office, and are on the one hand a proper man, on the other hand as bold as a lion, and you are also faithful in bearing responsibility, you will leave a good impression upon others. You must learn to behave yourself not only like a proper man or like a bold lion, but also like a serving, suffering ox. When the office is dirty and your colleagues start to clean, you must take the lead to clean. You should even clean more than others. You must show that you are willing to sacrifice, to help others, and to serve others. Then you will have the reality of the face of an ox. You will not only have the appearance of a man or a lion, but also of an ox.
THE FACE OF AN EAGLE
Finally, we also need a hidden face. In the back, not easily seen by people, we need the face of an eagle. In the Bible, an eagle always signifies a powerful, transcendent God. God is transcendent, buoyant, and powerful. Nothing can suppress Him. Nothing can oppress or depress Him. The more you try to suppress Him, the more He flies to the heavens. This is the meaning of the eagle and the eagle’s wings. In Exodus 19, God told His people, "...I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself." We must be like an eagle. We must not allow anything to suppress us, to hold us, or to depress us. Whether it be persecution or praise, we would never be overcome. It is more difficult to overcome praise than persecution. Many of us can overcome persecution, but not peoples’ praises. Nevertheless, whether people persecute us or praise us, we must fly away on the eagle’s wings.
When the Lord Jesus fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fishes, they came and tried to make Him king. But the Lord Jesus could not be held because He had the power of an eagle. You can never hold Jesus. Neither should a Christian be held by anything. One believer may be held by poverty while another is held by riches. As a proper Christian, we should not be held by anything. Neither riches nor poverty mean anything. We should be like Paul, who knew how to be abased and how to abound. Whether he was rich or he was in want, he did not care. Everywhere, in everything, he could do all things in Him who empowered him (Phil. 4:11-13). Paul had the wings of an eagle. He bore the appearance of a man, a lion, an ox, and also an eagle.
These four faces—the face of a man, the face of a lion, the face of an ox, and the face of an eagle—simply portray the life of Christ. The four Gospels are a biography of Jesus. Why are there four Gospels? It is because one, Luke, shows Him as a man. Another, Matthew, shows Him as a lion. Mark shows Him as an ox, and John shows Him as an eagle. This four-fold life is the life of Christ. All the living creatures are the corporate expression of Christ. As Christians, we must be the living creatures who are a corporate entity, expressing Christ exactly as He was on earth. While He was on earth, He was living in these four aspects: as a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle. Today we must be such an expression of Christ.
(The Visions of Ezekiel, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)