“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 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. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Philippians 2:5-11 NKJV
Humanity is in an all consuming pursuit of significance. We are told throughout our lives that we must be a somebody, a person that is notable. Many seek fame or wealth, that they be known by and adored.
In this Holy Week, I am reflecting on Jesus, who came into the world under the most humble of circumstances, but whose life split time, and changed destiny for many for all eternity.
Every year at Christmas, I ponder the incarnation: that moment when Heaven came to earth, and God became a man. He came as one with of no reputation, a simple carpenter, wise beyond His earthly years, and focused on a mission the world could not comprehend. He was light in darkness, surrounded by the blind who could not see.
“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
John 1:4-5 NKJV
Jesus was unseen and unknown for most of His life, until the time came for Him to begin His ministry. He happened on the scene when God’s people were in bondage to a invading force.
The children of Israel had learned not to follow other gods, as they had spent many years banished and enslaved. In their fear they had learned to adhere to the Law, but they had forgotten the heart of God.
Along came Jesus bringing truth as a the Word of God, but those religious authorities were caught up in a new kind of idolotry: they had turned to traditions of men, and away from the Scriptures.
Conflict erupted between the Pharisees and this humble Man from Nazereth, and the world would never be the same again.
As they attacked, He remained steadfast in delivering the message of the Kingdom. Most would have defended themselves, or struck back in some fashion, but He remained faithful to tell of God’s mercy and His willingness to save. He was the Good News personified, as He was humbled, rejected, tortured and killed for the sins of the world.
Then He rose again.
As I have matured in the faith, I have learned to let go and let God. It is not a well worn cliche for me, but a deliberate act of submission. The Lord has provided in my life consistent testing, as He refines me for His use. It is hard sometimes, as I can find myself wanting to strike back at adversaries with my greatest weapon: my tongue.
I have been given the gift of being able to read people, and discern their motives. In being able to see in, I am able to also find the weak places, those hidden hurts that affect all of us.
There are days when it is all I can do to refrain from poking at those wounds and blowing everything up.
Through my trials, God made me see my own wounds, building empathy for others. I am made aware of my humility, that I am a nobody without Jesus. I exist to minister and pray. He has taught me to love, even those who hate me, and has given me great patience.
I marvel at the patience of God. I wandered in the wilderness of sin for many years, but He patiently waited. As I move through this Holy Week, I see examples of the patience of Jesus, as He encountered a week of peaks and valleys, from His entrance into Jerusalem accompanied by shouts of Hosanna, to Good Friday, berated by cries of “Crucify Him!”
On a Thursday night during that week, He demonstrated humility as He washed the feet of His disciples.
“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.”
John 13:3-5 NKJV
Jesus demonstrated humility, and He demonstrated grace. He knew that Judas was going to betray Him, yet washed His feet.
As an interscessor, I frequently pray for people who have meant to do me harm. I do so with the confidence that God sees all and will deal with those in opposition, as He dealt with Judas. My job is to pray according to His will.
Brothers and sisters, we are entering a period when we will not be able to rely on our good reputations to get us through. Even now, those in opposition are seeking to cancel those of us who call upon the name of the Lord. They willingly blaspheme the Jesus of bible, and are persecuting those who are His.
Let us remember Jesus and His humility this week, as He laid aside His glory and became One of no reputation, that many would be saved.
“Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”
Isaiah 53:1-3 NKJV
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