The Humble King: A Deeper Look

9th February

Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and He exclaimed, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray Me!

John 13:21

Yesterday we looked at the wonderful passage of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet. It was a fantastic example of complete and utter humility; The ‘Lord’ and ‘Teacher’ washing the feet of His disciples. Yet if we are to read just a few more verses on, we find the most astounding fact, that reveals more of who Jesus was and His character.

Would it astound you to know that Judas, the disciple that betrayed Jesus, was present at that ‘Last Supper’. Probably not, because He was a disciple after all, right? Well, would it surprise you that Jesus knew Judas would betray Him, yet still humbly washed His feet. Yes, Jesus also washed the feet of the one who would betray Him just a few hours later. Isn’t this just a mind-boggling fact. It is one thing to find out after washing Judas’ feet that he was Jesus’ betrayer, but Jesus knew before Judas actually betrayed Him that he would. If this is so, then Jesus’ washing of the feet takes on an even greater significance and highlights even more so, the loving and gracious character of God in Jesus.

Even to this day, Jesus continues to shower His love on all of humanity, even the ones He knows will betray Him, or not even believe in Him. Jesus even knew that the great Apostle Peter would deny Him too, yet that didn’t stop Him stooping down to wash His feet. This tells us that Jesus’ character never gives up on us. He knows we will make mistakes but yet He still ‘washes our feet’. He knows our actions will deny Him, yet He still chooses to call us His own. Our choice is whether we come back to Him and accept His grace like Peter, or let the regret of our mistakes lead us to death like Judas. Both had the same choice, to simply accept Jesus’ love and forgiveness.

God Humbled In The Form Of A Servant

22nd December

Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being..

Philippians 2:7

Jesus’ humility, in coming to this earth, demonstrated just how much He loved us. The original meaning of the above text is that Jesus literally emptied Himself out for our sakes; His position, His throne and His rights. Of course He was still fully God as a human, but instead of ruling in the Heavens, He had to answer to earthly authority, suffer the things a human had to suffer, be beaten, be disgraced and be betrayed by the very people He created. Jesus was and is the King of the world, but humbled Himself for our sakes, on our behalf and emptied Himself so He could live a spotless sinless life.

This Christmas, as we reflect on the birth and life of Jesus Christ, may we too adopt the same attitude as Jesus showed us in His life. May we too humble ourselves, even when we are wronged. May be empty ourselves and live for others. May we put others needs before our own. May we give up ‘our privileges’ for the sake of others.

Jesus Born In Bethlehem

24th December

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel, whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on My behalf.

Micah 5:2

Bethlehem was not considered the most notorious place for a Messiah to be born. In fact it was a very small town, even village, yet from it, this prophetic promise rang true; The Messiah was truly born. A ruler of Israel had finally come. His origins were in the distant past; namely at the beginning of time. Jesus’ birth fulfilled so many prophecies, of which this one of them.

Furthermore, this small village was so full of people at the time of Jesus’ birth, that there was not even a room that Jesus could be born. Instead of the majesty of a King’s room, He was born in a lowly stable, and put to sleep in an animals feeding trough.

Jesus showed us one of the greatest messages through His birth; Small beginnings are not insignificant: Wealth does not dictate the plan God has for your life. Jesus, being born in a lowly stable in Bethlehem, demonstrated complete humility and showed us that life should not be dictated by circumstance but by the plan God has for you. For it was from a lowly stable that the King of Kings and Lords of Lords was born and through His life, we can all be saved.

The Special One

10th December

Though His ministry follows mine, I’m not even worthy to be His slave and untie the straps of His sandal.

John 1:27

Many people in this world have branded themselves as the “special ones”. From football managers to famous singers, it is a term that is quickly used but is never lived up to. There is only man who ever lived that has the right to call Himself “the Special One” and that is Jesus Christ. Even so, it is a term that He never used to refer to Himself with. It was John the Baptist that first described Jesus’ special characteristics when He was answering a Pharisee’s trouble making questions. John the Baptist made a declaration about Jesus that indicated that Jesus was no ordinary man describing Jesus as ‘The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John knew that Jesus was the ‘Special One’. He knew the prophecies of old and He knew that Jesus was the fulfillment of those prophecies. His response…. Humility.

John, knowing who Jesus was, declared that He was not even worthy enough to untie the straps of Jesus’ sandals, (a role reserved for slaves/servants). Later on, in Matthew’s account of Jesus’ baptism, John the Baptist is found saying to Jesus “I am the one who needs to be baptised by You!” Moreover, back in the gospel of John, John the Baptist exclaims that it is Jesus who should be exalted and elevated, no himself…. “He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less”. All this leads to the very real facts, that John knew that Jesus was Someone special. It was this knowledge that led to Johns complete humility.

What is your response to Jesus this day? Do you acknowledge Him as the Lamb of God, sent from Heaven to take away our sins?

The Humble Leader

19th August

 

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 on to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being…..”

Philippians 2:5-7b

This passage in Philippians is one of the most clearest accounts of what Jesus actually had to sacrifice for us. Not only does it explain His sacrificial love for us but also helps us to understand how humble Jesus was.

Paul explains that Jesus was God. Yet when He realised that mankind could never pay the debt of their sin, He knew that He had to sacrifice Himself, in human form, for the sins of the world. So, in the words of the original writing, He literally ’emptied Himself’, gave up His ‘divine privileges’ and took the position of a slave (again the original writing is even lower than a servant).

Let us not forget that this same Jesus, stood with the trinity, in perfect union at the beginning of time, flinging stars into space, breathing life in humanity and all created things. This same Jesus was there even before creation existed, yet here HE is, humbly emptying Himself of all His royalty, His divine privileges and making Himself as a human being, the very people He created.

Jesus did all this for you and I. He gave Himself up for us. He allowed Himself to suffer in our place because He loves us. He set us the perfect way to live our lives. He gave us the perfect example and He is living in us to help us become more like Him. Let us strive to live humble lives in the power of His Name and through the strength of the Holy Spirit.