THE HUMILITY OF GOD 2
We are continuing from where we stopped last time: The Humility of God. And we read from Philippians 2, verses 5 to 8. Last time I read it from the Living Translation. But today let me read it from the New King James Version.
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Thank You again, Father, for this hour. We bless Your Name; and commit this time into Your hands. Speak to us, we pray…in Jesus’ Name. Amen!
The Humility of God
Last time we said that, Humility is the modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance or rank. And that humility is a matter of the heart, a matter of the mind. It is the opposite of pride. As we looked at the humility of God, we looked at first the humility of God in becoming a man. And when we looked at that we will see the incarnation of God and the station of God in life. The station – His station. So when we looked at the incarnation of God we saw that it is humility – for God who made heaven and earth to stoop low to become a man. And not just that He became a man – He even died the death of a criminal. That’s humility indeed.
The incarnation: God becoming a man.
And then we looked at His station: Station not in the sense of a stopping place in a transportation system where people get off or on, but station meaning social status of Jesus Christ. And when we looked at the social status of Jesus Christ we looked at three things in His life,
- The fact that He was born in Bethlehem – and we said that Bethlehem was an obscure town in Israel. And Micah 5:2 said that,
2 Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you God will bring forth a messiah – a Saviour.
- We also saw the fact that He was born in a manger is an indication of the humility of God.
- He was born in poverty: The humility of God as seen in His social status. We see the poverty into which Jesus was born. The scripture says there was no room for them in the inn. And for that reason He was born in a manger. Was there no room in the inn for Mary and Joseph because they not there late or they did not have the money to pay for a decent accommodation? Well the scripture is silent regarding that.
It’s possible that they got there late because their journey would have taken them longer for Joseph was travelling with an expectant mother who could give birth any moment. So they were slow in their travel. But, if you look closely into the scripture you will find out that it is true indeed that Jesus was born in a manger to a poor family.
In Saint Luke’s Gospel 2:22-24, we see the sacrifice they offered for the purification of Mary who had given birth.
22 Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him [that’s Jesus] to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
That’s what they offered – a pair of turtledoves or two pigeons. What does that say about poverty? It becomes clearer if you see in Leviticus 12 where this law was given first.
In Leviticus 12:1-2, 6
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘If a woman has conceived, and borne a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as in the days of her customary impurity she shall be unclean.
6 ‘When the days of her purification are fulfilled, whether for a son or a daughter, she shall bring to the priest a lamb of the first year as a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove as a sin offering, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting.
Drop down to verse 8 of Leviticus 12
8 ‘And if she is not able to bring a lamb, then she may bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons — one as a burnt offering and the other as a sin offering. So the priest shall make atonement for her, and she will be clean.'”
The law makes this provision for that purification of the woman who Had given birth. She would come with a lamb and a pair of turtledoves or two pigeons. But then the law made also this provision for those who would not be able to afford that. Forget the lamb; just come with a pair of turtledoves or two pigeons. And that’s what Mary and Joseph came with – because they could not afford a lamb. I’m not saying that all poor people are humble, because there are poor people who are proud; and at the same time there are rich people who are humble. But more often than not wealth has a way of making people proud.
So we have seen that God humbled Himself in becoming a man. He humbled Himself in the manner in which He came into the world, where he was born, and the circumstance of the family into which He was born.
Now let’s very quickly look at the humility of God as man.
The humility of God when He lived as a man. The humility of God as man is manifested in three different ways:
- Jesus lived a life of surrender to the Father in humility,
- He lived a life of simplicity,
- And He lived a life of selfless service to people.
Jesus surrendered Himself to the Father’s works, to His Father’s Words, to His Father’s Will. We find that in these various scriptures:
In John 5:19
19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.
He surrendered Himself to the Father’s work. He surrendered Himself to the Father’s Words. In John 14:24, Jesus says,
24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.
He surrendered Himself to the Father’s Words.
In John 5:30,
John 5:30, Jesus says,
30 I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
He surrendered Himself to the Will of the Father. And that was why in the Garden of Gethsemane He said, even though Lord I would prefer that we find some other way (that’s my paraphrase); but Your Will, not mine, be done. His life of surrender was also a life of self-denial. And that we’ll see in the simplicity of His life.
Jesus lived a simple life style. His life was not sophisticated. He did not even have a home let alone one that is elaborate. To the one who wanted to follow Him He said, foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the son of man has nowhere to lay His head. Simplicity of life. When it was time for Him to ride triumphantly as King into Jerusalem what mode of transportation did He choose? Not a kingly mode. He did not ride on a horse. He rode on a donkey.
The simplicity of His life.
Jesus lived a life of selfless service to people. He touched the untouchable, socialized with outcasts, healed and fed multitudes of people free of charge – with no fanfare, with no advertisement, unlike what we see today.
The demonstration of His humility that challenged His disciples the most was when He washed their dirty feet, in John 13.
So let me conclude. Friend, if God humbled Himself to give us salvation we cannot receive that salvation without humbling ourselves. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child, Jesus said, is greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. It is only by coming in humility to God that we can receive salvation. The proud cannot receive salvation. It is only in humility.
Friend, may we come in humility to receive the salvation that the humble God gave us.
Father, we thank You again for Your Word. And I commit into Your hands all who are yielding to You today. And those who come humbly, may You bless them with salvation and much more in Jesus Name. Amen!