Understanding the Humble Nature of Jesus
Surrendering our own power and becoming more like Jesus
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.
Power, like control, can become an idol in our lives. The world tells us to be powerful, to be fast, to be strong, and to be in control. Even just recently in the Olympics, we watched the worlds most physically powerful people come together to compete against each other and admired and envied the power they had. Though there is a time and a place for power in acts like sport, we so often desire power and lean on our own power which moves our focus away from God.
One of the best ways to resist the unhealthy desire for power in our lives is to model our lives after the humble nature of Jesus. His surrender of power, described by the Apostle Paul in Philippians, was one of the most amazing things he ever did!
How do we stay humble like Jesus? First, we have to understand in what ways he was humble...
1. Remember that He was God, yet still humble
Jesus was not just a good man or even a great man. In Matthew 28:18, he said, “All power has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” He was God in the flesh – the One who had existed for all eternity, the great “I AM” (John 8:58). He created the world and maintains it (Hebrews 1:2-3).
2. He humbled himself to become a human
Yet all that greatness, the immortal and eternal, was somehow squeezed into a human body.
In his time on earth, Jesus chose to limit his power. He healed some sick people and performed many miracles. He had all the power and yet He lived His life under submission to the Father. Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does” (John 5:19).
3. Know that He gave up his life
“When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross” (Philippians 2:7b-8). Jesus’ captors beat him, taunted him, brutally whipped him, and then nailed his hands and feet to a cross. He resisted the temptation to reveal himself the as Almighty God. His plan from the beginning was to give his life for us, because “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).
4. He was exalted
“Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11). What a great day that will be, when every human being honors Jesus as Lord. And to extent we imitate Jesus‘ humility, we will be exalted: “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor” (1 Peter 5:6).
Pray this week:
Father, the desire for power is so strong. Help me to marvel at how Jesus humbled himself, and through your Holy Spirit’s power, to humble myself just as he did.
Want to learn more about power and humility? We are waiting to talk to you about it.