DAY 12: Jesus
Read: Philippians 2:3-11
Key Verse: Philippians 2:6
Though he (Jesus) was in the form of God, (he) did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped
And so we reach the climax of the Christmas story – the birth of Jesus. Much could be said about the arrival of God in flesh and His entrance onto the world stage as the incarnate baby in a manger. There is however an important concept within the nativity story that I want to bring to the forefront of our minds as we come to the close of our devotional journey – that is, humility.
The birth of Jesus is saturated in humility. Think about it. The eternally divine King, who enjoyed the unspeakable riches of heaven, takes on mortal flesh and allows Himself to be born into the most modest of circumstances. It certainly isn’t the way I would have made my grand entrance (cue the trumpets, a warm palace and a few goose down feather pillows to lay my head on!).
We must be careful though not to just marvel at the fact God stooped down to be amongst those whom He created, as if it were an abstract piece of theology that is only to be admired and applauded. The humility of Jesus also has profound implications for how we live our lives now.
Humility is a peculiar thing. We are commended in seeking it, yet if we say we have attained it we effectively lose it! How then do we live humbly? By taking Jesus’ lead we are to consider ourselves less and others more. Such a concept is certainly countercultural, especially in a society that places its value in fame, position, titles and achievement, thinking more of others than ourselves goes against the status quo. However, the Kingdom of God does not align itself with the status quo, and as we read Paul’s words in Phil 2:3-11 we see that God’s end goal of glory is ultimately achieved through humility. As Christians then, if our desire is to live in a way that glorifies God then humility is not an optional extra, it’s a necessity!
Living a life of humility is a continual process, one in which we will no doubt fall short in many occasions. We have however a perfect model to look to – Jesus. From His birth, to a ministry marked by service to others and eventually a sacrificial death on a cross, humility functions as two giant bookends that encompass His entire life. This is our example. May we as Christians be known for our humility, who, just like Jesus, through humble submission, think less of ourselves and throw our lives into the mess and hurt of others. Perhaps today we all need to be reminded of the lost treasure of Christ-like humility.
By Nick Williamson