Friday, January 31, 2014

Jesus the humble

It almost seems wrong to call Jesus humble.  Jesus has absolutely no reason to be humble; He is the Almighty God of the Universe.  All things were created by Him and for Him (Colossians 1:16).

Yet, He is humble.  He is meek.  To be meek is to contain one's power and strength out of kindness and consideration for another.  Jesus is the very epitome of meekness.

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. 
Be humble,
thinking of others as better than yourselves.  
Don’t look out only for your own interests,

but take an interest in others, too.
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges

he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,

he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
~Philippians 2:3-8 (NLT)

Jesus gave up His divine privileges and came to earth to serve men, to serve us.  He was not born a king or an emperor.  He was born in a barn.  He had a humble birth.

She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
~Luke 2:7 (NLT)

Jesus did not align Himself with the strong, mighty and influential.  He spent time with people whom others shunned.  He did not choose His friends on the basis of what they could do for Him, how they could help Him climb some ladder of success.  He had humble friends, humble relationships.  

Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners.  But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?" 

When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

~Matthew 9:10-13 (NLT)

Jesus didn't come to earth with a scripted agenda and a long list of tasks to delegate.  He didn't come commanding people around and expecting them to shoulder the grunt work while He sat on a throne and gave orders.  He spoke gently and shared the load.  He had a humble approach.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT) 

After Herod executed John the Baptist (Jesus' cousin), Jesus tried to get away to mourn.  But even in the midst of His sorrow, Jesus had compassion on the crowd who followed Him.  He sympathized with their weaknesses and their longings.  He set aside His own needs: to grieve, to rest, to be alone.  Instead He served the masses, healing them, teaching them, and at the end of the day feeding 5000 people a banquet that He Himself miraculously prepared.  He had a humble attitude; He did not selfishly demand time to care for Himself, nor did He consider any form of service as too lowly for Him to perform.

Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread and fish to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. 

They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers!

~Luke 9:16-17(NLT)

There are many, many examples of how Jesus demonstrated humility while He was on earth.  For instance, I love the story of how He roasted fish over coals on the beach for his disciples' breakfast... after He had risen from the dead (John 21:1-14).  He had been raised from the dead and glorified; yet, after winning the ultimate victory over sin and death, after bearing the sins of the world and then being restored by the power of God Himself, Jesus was willing to cook for His friends.

But I will leave you with my favorite picture of the humility of Christ:

Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God.  So...

     Honestly, what would you expect to come next?  
     He has ultimate authority
     came from God
     is going back to God

he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him. 
~John 13:3-5 (NLT)

Jesus got down on the floor and washed his disciples' dirty feet with a towel that He was literally wearing.

How can you help but love Him? 

No comments:

Post a Comment