As I looked back I found this note I had made while studying the word humbled in Phil. 2:8
"Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."
Humbled himself does denote a choice doesn't it? Jesus wasn't forced to humble himself, he made that choice! As amazing as that fact is alone, the word humbled here (Tapeinoo in the original Greek) could meet any of the following definitions:
1)to make low
2) to bring into a humble condition or reduce to meaner circumstances (used as a metaphor)
3) to assign a lower rank or place
4) to abase
5) to be ranked below others who are honored or rewarded
6) to humble or abase oneself by humble living
7) to lower or depress
8) devoid of all haughtiness
9) to behave in an unassuming manner
So Jesus, the God-man, made himself low in such a way that was unassuming, devoid of all haughtiness, taking the form of servant so much so that he died a brutal death on the cross for the sins of mankind though he is the creator of the entire universe (Colossians 1:16.) He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and deserves to be treated as much right?
So it kind of makes since that when this Jesus fellow walked out of the town of Nazareth rounding up disciples that one of them would exclaim, "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?"(John 1:46) These people were totally confused. On the one hand Jesus did many signs and wonders. He was always healing people. He seemed to have powers given by God. But on the other he was so, very confusing because he was (and still is) nothing what they expected.
And he became, in a since, what they vilified most. In a culture where religion was paraded around and righteousness was delegated to those following rules upon rules....upon rules in walks the Savior of the world, Jesus: humble slave and opposite of what they even wanted. They wanted a ruler, a conqueror. They wanted a Savior that would take all of their earthly sorrows away and make it all better...on earth....right now.
Does this not sound familiar?! We too struggle with this very thing. Our society is much like this isn't it? Just as the Jewish people longed to have a Messiah rescue them from the painful circumstances of being harshly ruled by Rome, we too desire and longingly look to be rescued from our physical ails all the while forgetting that our God is a God who looks at the heart.
We relish in our good deeds, just as the Pharisees did. Our hunger pains are full filled by the praises of others for our outward religiosity, not really a willingness to bend low even as low as a slave. Instead of looking around, pointing my finger in the opposite direction to find affirmation by comparing myself to the goodness and or not-so goodness of others, my eyes need to look upon the One who, though he was God, took the very form of slave.
Of course, God is able to heal our physical wounds. He can and He will! That is a promise that every believer desperately clings to. It is easy, however, to point our fingers and shake our heads all the while thinking, "how could they NOT get it?!" though our hearts reflect the same desires.
And as I read a little this afternoon from these notes I took a few weeks ago the answer to the aforementioned question is:
the Holy Spirit's conviction is oftentimes a humbling experience and being humbled is a good place to start even if it means starting over...again....
Thank you Lord, Jesus for your example of humility and for the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Though I have not arrived, you continue to work in my heart and promise to do so until my race is over. This I praise you for! Thank you for your Word for with out it we could not know that you are the true God....a God of goodness and Grace and Mercy who judges righteously and exalts those who, like your Son, humble themselves. ~amen
Thank you God for....
681: listening to the Bible on the couch
682: my room
683: the metal that hold our house walls together
684: Nancy Drew books
685: the quilt my Mom made for me
689: my Kit doll
690: swimming in Lake Superior
691: getting baptised
692: Sun, stars, lights in the house
694: Mrs. Beth's hot tub
695: leaves that are changing color