If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
A homeless man sits next to the exhaust vent at the local dry cleaners. It’s a good spot, one of the best in town for staying warm through a brisk fall night. As a local lawyer arrives to pick up his suits from the previous week, he reaches into his pocket and hands the homeless man a $20 bill. A couple of hours later, an investment banker comes by and invites the man to lunch. He spends a good hour talking to the man, and of course, picks up the tab. Later in the day a woman pulls up in her Mercedes and sees the man taking a nap. She gently nudges him on the shoulder and asks him his name. She then gives him the keys to her Mercedes and tells the man that the garage door opener is on the visor and her purse with all her cash, credit cards, and account numbers is on the passenger’s seat. He can have it all, if only she can have his cardboard seat cushion and spot next to the exhaust fan.
The first two scenarios are believable. The last one is unimaginable. Yet, Jesus Christ, God himself, did something even more inconceivable than giving up his luxury car, home, and savings. He left God’s side in the heavenly realms to be born into our world as a human being. He made himself nothing so that we could be something. He took on our nature, carried our sins, and suffered on the cross, so that we could be with him forever. Jesus did this not only to be the greatest example of humility, but to offer his life for sinners—to give his righteousness for our unrighteousness.
Jesus did all of this, even though we had done nothing to earn or deserve it. In fact, he did all of this, because we couldn’t do anything to earn or deserve it. However, because of his perfect humility and selfless death on the cross, God exalted him to the highest place imaginable. He is the world’s Savior and King.
Jesus has done it all. Now those who live in his kingdom of grace and mercy are called to imitate his humility in their lives. How might you do that today?
Dear Jesus, send your Holy Spirit into our hearts and comfort us with your love, so that we can imitate your humility in our everyday lives. Amen.