Summary: Jesus did not fit the standard of an honored leader. He emptied himself and took on the cross.
Throughout the year, there are times of reunion, times of sharing and caring. It’s when people come together, when people meet as family and friends. Homecoming day at high school or college, brings together old friends. Thanksgiving is an opportunity to bring together the whole family and share hopes, dreams and successes. Christmas time is a sharing time with family and friends, a time to rehearse and renew acquaintances and friendships. We tend to, during those times to look at others and ourselves. We look at how we are doing, how we are identified and how life is turning out. We build our respect for one another and we build our reputations, noting who we are.
Jesus did not seek fame. Jesus did not seek honor. Jesus did not seek reputation. He was from humble beginnings on earth. He left his glory in heaven for a humble beginning on earth. Point One: From humble beginnings, great things can be done. We see evidences of that throughout Jesus life. A simple life, some have called it. A simple life and a life of purpose. He came in that stable and came in that manger to show the world: the lowest, the lost and the least that they too can identify. They too can go from the low point of life to grow and to serve.
Point two: Jesus made himself of no reputation. He started in a humble way, with shephards, strangers and cattle. The word "inn" in the ancient language means a three-sided affair with straw and animals, and by the way, no water and no midwife. It was there that the King of the Universe was born. No hospital, no palace, no spacious home in the suburbs. No Jesus was born of no reputation. We can read in Matthew’s gospel his geneology, but it is elsewhere where we read that he made himself of no reputation. Phil. 2:5 and onward tells us that he made himself of no reputation but took on the form of a servant and endured the cross. What does the cross mean to you? What does it mean to me? It means he emptied himself of his deity and endured the scorn of men for you and for me.
Point three: Jesus made himself of no reputation, so that you and I can die to ourselves, our selfish desires and our wants, just as he did. This is deeper. This is harder. This requires some emptying of ourselves. We all have something we can do, something we can give. We usually think, even as Christians, of ourselves first. Our wants and our needs. What Christ shows us in the Garden and on the Cross of Calvary, is that we too can give of ourselves. Give of what we have, give our lives for the cause of Christ. For others. For Him.
Our last stop is John 20:31: It says that these things are written that we may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and that believing Him we have life in His name. We might have an abundant life, a fuller life but also a better life. A true life of emptying of ourselves for others and for Him.
This Christmas time. When we lift up the Savior of the World. Let us remember His mission, his ministry and him submission to the Father. By going to the Cross, dying for us. That we can live for Him, a life with Him, a life worth living.
Merry Christmas, Church!