Title: The Humility of Christ
Philippians 2:1-11 (ESV)
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 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. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The Apostle Paul, one of the main contributors to the New Testament, gave this hymn of praise to Jesus in the middle of Philippians. He wanted to put on display for the Philippian churches the model that Jesus had put before them, in how to think about themselves in relation to each other. In this passage, Paul explained the level of humility which Jesus lived and modeled in His life. Jesus humbled and submitted Himself in every way. He sacrificed a lot of what He deserved so we could experience God’s love, something we don’t deserve.
But look at verses 9-11. Jesus humbled Himself, yet God exalted Him higher than any other name! Submission looks like it costs a lot, and at times it does. But God’s promise to those who humble themselves and submit to His will is that He will reward them (1 Peter 5:6). Submission always comes at the cost of laying down our desires, but God promises to be right there in the submission and provide everything we need.
- What is one thing that sticks out to you today as you read?
- Can you think of one situation in your life where God is asking you to be obedient, yet you have wrestled with it because it would be hard?
- Write down the three most difficult things about being obedient in that situation. Then re-read this passage in light of those three things, and see if God doesn’t speak encouragement in how you can trust Him with each of those things.