Summary: Humility demonstrated by Jesus is the greatest act of selflessness of any ruler. As Tim Tebow says..."humility is not thinking less of yourself just thinking of yourself less. Jesus shows us how to leave our title, status and position behind.
Can we express Christ’s majesty with just one word? This would be a most difficult exercise. For some of us we might choose the word “Love” or “Saviour” but for those who want to capture Christ’s majesty only one word does justice to His title. Humility.
In the Gospel accounts we can read in several places where the Disciples were arguing with one another about who should be the greatest among them.
Jesus hearing them squabble took a little child and placed the child on His knee and told the Disciples… “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. Matthew 18:3-5 NIV
The great Greek theologian Dr. Spiros Zodhiates says this…”The use of the Greek word “knenoo” in Philippians 2:7 is of great theological importance. It refers to Jesus Christ emptying Himself at the time of His incarnation, denoting the beginning of His self-humanization of “being found in fashion of a man” (Phil. 2:8a). This can be explained in Christ taking the “form of a servant” and “was made in the likeness of man.” Imagine if you were asked to relinquish something beautiful for something quite undesirable. Christ, though remaining equal with God, made this sacrifice willingly. His love overflowed for mankind in becoming this “servant” and giving His life.
As Romans 5:7 states “scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.” Christ paid the price knowing our sinful state. Though His earthly peers gave Him no good reputation, for the believer, His sacrifice makes Him our Heavenly King.”
Source: Practical Bible Illustrations from Yesterday and Today 1996 by AMG International, INC. Chattanooga, TN. U.S.A. page 69 #185.
We cannot comprehend the magnitude, the enormity of what Jesus did by stepping from His throne at the right hand of the Heavenly Father and humbling Himself to be made in the form of a human being so that we might know Emmanuel – God with us.
I have no human equivalent to compare this act of selflessness to. Maybe someone who was the president or prime minister of a great country who suddenly resigned their position and gave away their wealth and title to head out to the mission field might be a kind of example but still it is a poor example.
Jesus left the glory that is Heaven; Eternity itself to step into time a time when mankind needed a Saviour, He stepped away from the glory that is His at the right hand of the Heavenly Father so that He might be with us and become for us our Saviour.
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Jesus emptied himself of all but love as the hymn writer Charles Wesley says in “And Can it be”. We should note that Jesus did not empty Himself of His divine nature but rather Jesus is fully God and fully man.
In Jesus there is no sin so that when Jesus became a human being we can see ourselves in Him as God intended us to be. A creature full of all of God’s attributes even made in God’s likeness but void of sin.
We turned our backs on that kind of likeness when we sinned in the Garden of Eden and it is Jesus who has come to bring us back to that likeness. God’s Son Jesus Christ takes on human flesh so that Human sin might be destroyed on the cross of sacrifice.
This is the great Gospel story of the ages it is the redemptive story that causes all the Heavenly Angels to sing Rev. 4:8
““‘Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,’
who was, and is, and is to come.
It is Jesus who calls out to us to take on His humility and take on His likeness and be His witnesses till He comes again.
But how do we take on Jesus humility?
The scriptures tell us… “Humility is the fear of the LORD; its wages are riches and honor and life.
Proverbs 22:4 NIV
The Hebrew word for “Fear” here is reverence, exceedingly.
The Hebrew word for “Honor” here is glorious honor.
The Hebrew word for “Life” here is fresh, merry multitude.
We dear ones are to take on that new life promised and made possible through Jesus. Jesus stepped down to us and we must step up to meet Him at the cross. We must be born again so that a Christ like humility can be born in us.