Christian Student Association
Christ's humility and my own
by Abram Guerra
OK, Raise your hand if youÂ’re pridefulÂ…. DonÂ’t worry. IÂ’m not
the most humble man on the face of the earth either. I have my moments, but they
are few and far between. I had one of those moments this morning, and I figured
on sharing it with all those prideful souls out there who might benefit from itÂ…
If youÂ’re a really, really, reeeeaaaalllly humble personÂ…. DonÂ’t read this, but
write to me and tell me how you do itÂ…
Who, being in very nature God,
Did not consider equality with God something to be grasped
But made himself nothing,
Taking the very nature of a servant,
Being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man
He humbled himself and became obedient to death Â– even death on a cross!
Wait a secondÂ… Did you catch that?!Â… Â“Being in very nature GOD!!!Â…Â” He said that Jesus was in his very nature The Sovereign LORD, our God... We're talking Jehovah Jaire (Hebrew for "God, my provider") YHWH Saboath (Hebrew for "God of Armies"), The Almighty One, He who was, is and forever will be the Great I AM, The Big Guy, He who marshals the storm clouds... GOD HIMSELF!!! Jesus was equal with that... Do you buy that?
Â“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginningÂ” (John 1:1-2)
Jesus was with God from the moment God conceived of creation. The moment that GodÂ’s own voice rang out Â“Let there be light!Â” (Gen 1) Jesus Christ was there... he WAS those words!!! Jesus saw and heard many things while standing at the feet of the Almighty. He watched as Adam and Eve were cast out of perfect Eden, He saw the world become so evil that His Father would have to destroy it in a flood. He witnessed as Lot was corrupted by Sodom, and he listened as Abraham bargained for the life of his cousin. He watched as Abraham was just about to sacrifice his only son, probably taking note of his Father's willingness to provide a sacrifice in Isaac'a stead. He watched Jacob cheat his brother out of his birthright, saw Joseph sold into slavery only to save his treacherous brothersÂ’ lives from utter starvation. He witnessed the children of Israel grow into a mighty nation, oppressed by the Egyptians and their Pharaoh. He ordered IsraelÂ’s deliverer (Moses) to Â“Take off your sandals, for this is holy groundÂ” He was the very "word" emanating from the burning bush! Again he saw manÂ’s wickedness in the form of a golden calf, he watched as again and again the Hebrew people betrayed His Father. He watched as Father gave them chance upon chance to change their ways, and prophet after prophet and deliverer after deliverer to free them from the oppression their sin brought on them; knowing that every time they were given another chance they would find another way to mess it up. He watched Saul chase David through the desert, and bestowed upon Solomon his wisdom. He wept as Israel was given over to the Babylonians, then the Assyrians, then the Romans. And when the appointed time had come, He willingly gave up his ringside seat to the greatest story ever told. He quit his job, sold his house and became the first mission team, Battlefield: Earth. Forgetting his status as The Divine, he did not even consider equality with God something to be graspedÂ…
Â“Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?Â” (Matthew 26:53-54)
Though Jesus had the option to skip the Cross, he did not. Though he had the power to heal his own pain he didnÂ’t, though he had the strength to shatter the very wood he was fixed to and melt the very nails that held his cold wrists and ankles to the dead woodÂ… there he hung! He knew that it was all absolutely necessary; there were no shortcuts in GodÂ’s plans. How humiliating it must have been for the King of Kings to become nothing, taking the very nature of a servantÂ…
Â“[For] the son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.Â” Matthew 20:28
Imagine, if you will, the most unclean, vile and disgusting animal you have ever knownÂ… (itÂ’s probably an opossum if youÂ’ve ever seen one close enoughÂ…) How about a snake, crawling on itÂ’s belly everywhere it goes? Or a dog, returning to its own vomit for a mid-day snackÂ… now imagine your own mind and soul being transplanted into that animal. You have the mind to recite Shakespeare, but you have only the snakeÂ’s his with which to recite it. Though you long to warn someone that theyÂ’re just about to get hit by a car, but you can only bark in hopes that someone will heed your warnings - for a dog has no way of expressing it's deepest thoughts to the other dogs, nor can a snake communicate itÂ’s innermost feelings to other snakes. Now, add to this insult the fact that your only company in this misery is that of the other snakes, who all think that you're the weird one... The only fellowship you can find is with other dogs, who donÂ’t even have the slightest clue that you are truly a man in a dog's form... Scary thought, isn't it?
Yet the gap between a man and an opossum is nothing when compared to the immense gap between the immortal, omni powerful God and mortal, powerless men. How often does Christ long to show us the way, yet we are Â“Ever hearing, but never understanding,Â” How difficult it must have been for Jesus to compress the knowledge of the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven into a short story, for neither did his audience have the capacity to understand such things, nor did the limitations of his physical body allow him to divulge such truths. This was not merely a mission of instruction, to teach those lost how to beat the system and get to heaven. It was much more than a mission of correction. The only way that man could learn was someone showed him what to do, and after having done it perfectly, how to lose everything so that someone else would have a chance at that perfection. ChristÂ’ mission was to lay down his own life, and his own body, as a bridge over the moat that sin had thoroughly dug between creation and her Creator. This was to be the model of generations to come. For the call of Christianity has always been the same:
Â“If anyone who would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.Â”
The story does not end there, to those who would take Jesus challenge Â“Even greater things than theseÂ” could be accomplished, there was a Â“life to the fullÂ” to be lived and then when that is through the story still is all but overÂ… Â“To him who overcomes I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hearÂ” (Revelation 3:21-22) But before this could be accomplished, Jesus' example demands that we crucify our sinful selves, before it is too late.
Humility of this type is exceedingly difficult to master, especially for those who need to master it most. Pride is such that, the more prideful you are, the harder it is to change, and the less prideful you are, the easier it is to be humble. So it happens that, the worse you are, the more you need to change, and the less you are able to do so. Only a perfectly humble man can ever repent perfectly, and he does not need to repent in the first place. So how can we who are prideful ever hope to please our God? Only with God's own help, obviously! Think of it this way: As a child, you learned to write because someone held your hand and wrote for you, someone who knew beforehand just how to write the letters that you were in need of learning... If someone who could write the letters perfectly helped you, you could learn, eventually, to write in the same manner as them... If someone who was perfectly humble and didn't need to obey, because he was already perfect, showed us how to obey, wouldn't that help you, through imitation, to emulate that humble obedience. Jesus was perfect, so he didn't need to change at all, but he showed us how to, because he was the only one who really could.
There have been many times when I believe that I deserve one thing or another, or that someone should listen to me because I know one thing or another; or that I should be in control of one thing or another. Yet when I see a picture of Him who DID deserve to be treated as God being treated as a common criminal; When I hear the Words of him who DID know creation before it had even been created and yet was ignored by his own neighbors and mocked by those who he healed; When I read how Jesus was in complete control of the entire universe, yet willingly relinquished his life to men who would beat him and hang him from a treeÂ… It is then when I am amazed at what very little I have to be proud of, and how very ungrateful I can really be.
Grace and peace
last updated 3/24/04