If Jesus taught anything by the way he lived his life, He taught how we need to humble ourselves. Philippians 2 is a classic text for the humility of Jesus. This week on my way to work, I’ve been listening to Dr. David Jeremiah who has been speaking about humility and the lessons we learn through suffering. Rich stuff!!
In this text Jesus is described as one who gave up his place in heaven in order to come here and live as a man so that He could be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. What a mouthful that is–God in the living breathing person of Jesus!
If we could leave the text alone with that one concept it would be great and probably enough for us to chew on the rest of our lives, but we can’t leave it there. As David Jeremiah did in his radio message, we must see the whole text. I’m not going to preach his whole message here. You can click the link above and find it for yourself, but I do want to quote the text that is found in the verse before all of the description of Jesus and let it sink deep within us. It says, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:” (Philippians 2:5 NIV). Notice that the sentence does not end here. The next word in the NIV is, “Who….” Following this word, Paul then describes Jesus and His emptying Himself from heaven to come here and be a servant. What can that mean? For the Christian, it can only mean that the two phrases are part of the same thought. In other words, “You, as a Christ-follower should have the humility of Jesus.”
The challenge for me in this is to be like Christ in my thinking when it comes to every aspect of my life. I can’t excuse myself by saying, “I’ll never be perfect like Jesus.” He’s not asking us to be that which we cannot, but he is asking us to have the same thought patterns and lifestyle that lines up with humble principles.
What would the world look like if we all decided today to humble ourselves before God and let Him be at work in our lives? Our world would immediately be a better place. That’s one of the biggest understatements I’ve ever written here.
Here are some more scriptures to look at to see this paradox of being last in order to be first. Humility is the key to living for Jesus and for Crist-followers, it’s not optional. (Read, Proverbs 15:33 and 29:23, Matthew 18:4 and 23:12, Luke 14:11 and 18:14. Also James 4:10, and 1 Peter 5:5-6.)