“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippines 2:5-8
Let’s reflect just a moment on the humility of Christ:
1. He was equal with the Father and Spirit, but, for a time, willing to live below that equality. “He did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped.” The author of Hebrews writes, “But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus….” (Heb 2:9)
2. Possessing the full rights and privileges of divine Sonship, He willing chose not to excercise them.
3. Being fully God, He was willing to also be fully man, taking to himself something that He wasn’t in order to identify with what we are.
4. As a man, He came as a servant. He didn’t take the highest position but the lowest. Though a King, yet He took the form of a servant.
5. Though He was the Word of Life (Jn 1:1-4), He submitted to the sentence of death. And not just any death, but death by crucifixion. To the Greek, a criminal’s death; to the Jew, a God-cursed death. But to us who believe, it was a sin-forgiving, wrath-absorbing, soul-saving death!
Such is the amazing humility of Christ, and this is the type of humility we are called to reflect. A humility that seeks to serve the purposes of God. A humility that is self-effacing, looking “not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Now, since we are called to have and reflect Christ’s humility, we ought to expect the Lord to give us opportunities to show His humility. These opportunities present themselves in the home, in the church, in the work place, and in our daily dealings in the public.
In these various spheres of life, we will be given the opportunity to humbly:
1. Refuse to exercise our rights when wronged.
2. Resist the desire to always be seen as right, prove ourselves, and insist on our own way.
3. Identify with others in their weakness and suffering, even though their condition is not our fault.
4. Receive moments of unfairness, betrayal, scorn, and hatred in order to let the glory of Christ shine through.
5. Die to ourselves daily, so that the life and power of Christ may be seen.
This type of humility is not natural nor easy. In fact, it had to be manifested in Christ so that it could be reflected by us. He is the Source of our ability to live a life of humility. And there really is no better way to live, for in Christ, a life lived in humility ends in glory.
“If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him…” 2 Tim 2:11,12
Chuck Cook is the pastor of Grace Bible Church - Rolla.