A devotional thought from Joey Jernigan for “Our Unity”
Read Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 2:14-18.
In the Book of Philippians, we read of the humility of Jesus in coming to earth to provide salvation. Paul tells us to have Jesus’ attitude, and he gives a behind-the-scenes look at God becoming man. The orthodox teaching of the church is that Jesus is fully God and fully man. He is not like the fictional half god/half man Hercules who was seeking to become immortal. Jesus left His eternal existence in heaven and became one of us.
Part of this act of humility was that He “emptied Himself.” Some have mistakenly taken this to mean that Jesus lost some elements of deity when He became a man. But emptying Himself properly means Jesus retained everything about His divinity but He withheld the full use of some of His attributes as God during His earthly ministry. For example, He had the right to call legions of angels to His defense during His trial and crucifixion, but He obeyed the will of His Father.
The best personal example I can think of is my relationship with my children. I have the power to overtake them at any moment, but I withhold my power in order to draw close to them. Instead of breaking their spirit by constantly reminding them that I am above them, I choose to show my love for them. I seek to build a deeper relationship with them by humbly interacting with them at their level, whether it be through wrestling, helping them understand the truths of Christ, or watching their preferred television shows. In the same way, when we understand and exhibit the humility of Jesus, it will revolutionize our attitude toward others.
Pause and Reflect
• Why is it important that Jesus became one of us?
• What can you do to exhibit Jesus’ humility this week?