One day, as I was walking through a grocery store, I felt like my mind was going to explode. It was around the Christmas season, and over the store speakers the old holiday favorite “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” was playing.
As people were trying to figure out which cereal to put in their cart, which tortilla chips could scoop the most guacamole without breaking, and which scent they wanted their bathroom to smell like, the truth of God coming as a baby was playing as background noise to be ignored. But, Jesus’ birth is something to be remembered every day and not just Christmas Day. The humility of God becoming a man, also called the incarnation by theologians, is mind blowing if we take a moment to consider it.
The most thorough section of Scripture regarding the incarnation is Philippians 2:5–11:
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. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so 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.
Jesus had the divine life and full equality with God in every way, yet He emptied Himself of that divine way of living. He who created and rules the universe became a servant. He took on flesh with the same image and likeness of God that Adam had, while keeping His identity as the second person of the Trinity. In that humble state, He obeyed God the Father in every way. Who chooses to give up all they have so that those who are enemy could become family?
He lowered Himself even further to the point of shameful death on the cross. So, God exalted Him as Messiah and bestowed on Him “the Name,” that is, “Yahweh,” the personal name of God that He always had as second person of the Trinity but now has as the God-Man, Messiah Jesus. Like a bungee jump, Jesus came down from heaven in humility to live, die, and rise before bouncing right back up to His heavenly throne.
Today, King Jesus is alive and well. And, one day He is coming to finish what He started bringing a Kingdom that never ends in tow behind Him. As citizens of that Kingdom, we must start learning the value of humility demonstrated by our King. How did Jesus live in such humility? How can we live in similar humility? By the power of God the Holy Spirit which we will study next.
What areas of your life could use the most urgent injection of humility?