DAILY DEVOTIONALS BY PASTOR VICTOR BORCHARD
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“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 emptied himself, by 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.”
Philippians 2:5-8 (ESV)
How low can you go? It’s the game of limbo. I was never very good at it. In the physical sense, it takes flexibility to win the game. In the spiritual sense, going lower and lower takes humility.
Jesus humbly stooped in three rounds of limbo according to our passage. First, the infinite Son of God emptied himself into the finite body of a baby. It’s a staggering display of humility as humanity is added to deity. Humbly, he subjected himself to our frailties.
Second, Jesus humbly stooped as a servant. Among other things, he washed his disciples feet. The King of kings bent down low to scrub the grimy feet of fishermen, a tax-collector and a betrayer. He washed Pete’s feet. Years later, Peter would call upon us to clothe ourselves with humility as Jesus clothed himself with the towel of a foot-washing servant (see 1 Peter 5:5).
Third, Jesus humbly stooped in subjection to the horror of the cross. It takes humility to obey another. He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Phil. 2:8). He asked the Father to remove the cup from him. But he finished the prayer with a word of humble submission, “Nevertheless, not my will, but Thy will be done.” (Luke 22:42)
How low can you go? Probably lower still. If it seems beneath you, just remember who you’re following. You and I are following in the footsteps of the Footwasher. As humility adorns Jesus, may it also adorn us. There’s another round of spiritual limbo coming. Let’s go lower still.
“The various Hebrew words (translated ‘afflicted’, ‘need’, ‘poor’, etc.) associated with humility (Heb. ‘anaw, ‘ani) are derived from an anthropocentric view of humanity in which humility is weakness caused by oppression or mismanagement. However, in Scripture a theocentric worldview controls the connotations of the term, which refers primarily to submission to God. Such submission is the appropriate attitude before the divine majesty and is a necessary condition for accepting his grace. Even God himself is willing to stoop low to save the humble. In the NT, humility is taught by both example (in the incarnation, the foot-washing and the passion) and word to Jesus’ disciples. Grace is given only to the humble.”
– D. C. Searle
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