Friday, April 25, 2008

Divine Humility

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. (Philippians 2:5-8)
We are not naturally at ease with the concept of humility. The flesh rebels against it. It is not the way we have been taught in the world.
The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called “benefactors.” But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves. (Luke 22:25-27)
The world likes to make a show of having power and authority, of being “in charge.” But that is not God's way. His way is to give and serve. Jesus did not come to be served to, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). He through whom all things were created literally bowed down to wash the feet of the disciples. That was not an aberration from the divine nature, but a magnificent expression of it, for God is love, and love “does not seek its own” (1 Corinthians 13:5), that is, it is not self-aggrandizing and does not strive for power. By washing the feet of the disciples, Jesus modeled humility before them, not as a way to eventually rise to a place of authority and power so that they would no longer need to be humble, but precisely as the expression of power and authority.

The concept of humility offends the natural mind, which is always striving for supremacy. But God, who is absolutely supreme, loses nothing by humbling Himself, for as Jesus said, the one who is greater is the one who bows to serve. The God of the universe humbles Himself, not against His nature, but because humility perfectly expresses His divine nature. That is the heart of God, but it offends the mind of man because if the Lord of All is the humble servant of all, then that is what we are forever called to be as well.

True humility is an expression of the divine nature.