Saturday, December 05, 2015

Advent Day 5: Jesus Came to Be Our Example of Humility

"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."
Philippians 2:5-7

Christmas always brings images of Jesus to mind.  When we sing "Away in a Manger" the image is Jesus gently laying his head on the hay, noisy cattle waking him from his sleep, but no crying he makes.  The no crying part rhymes well with "wakes," but there's no reason to think baby Jesus didn't cry.  He was a baby that needed to be fed just like any other baby; and, babies cry to let their mothers know it's time to eat.  

But, the astonishing, mind-blowing, almost unbelievable reality is found in who this helpless baby, crying for his mother's milk, really is.  To grasp the full measure of the miracle of the incarnation, Jesus taking on flesh, we have to meditate on the eternal glory of Jesus.

There are many passages at which we could look, but Colossians 1:15-17 beautifully captures the glories of Christ in just a few verses:

[15] He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. [16] For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. [17] And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Jesus is the image of God himself.  All things were created by him - whether you can see them or not. Whether those things exist on earth or in heaven; the smallest atomic particle to the blazing bright stars in the outer reaches of the universe. Every power, every government, and every ruler was created by him.  And, not only were all of these created through him, but they were also created for him.  They exist to bring glory to Jesus.  And everything that has ever been created would collapse and fall apart if for one moment Jesus ceased to hold it all together.

This is the Jesus laying on a pile of hay, crying for more milk from his mother.  No one has ever, or will ever, humble themselves to a greater degree.  Therefore, in Philippians 2:5-7 Paul calls us to have this mind as well.  In fact, verse 3 of Philippians 2 tells us that in humility we are to "count others more significant than yourselves."

As we think about the baby in a manger this Christmas, we must remember that Jesus is our example of humility.  Therefore, we should spend Christmas celebrating the humility of Jesus by finding ways to treat other people as more important than ourselves.

Advent Day 1

Advent Day 2

Advent Day 3

Advent Day 4

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