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 2:8)
Jesus was in the image of God, yet He did not boast about His equality with God. Instead, Jesus humbled Himself to become a servant of all, taking the form of man. From birth to death, Jesus Christ exhibited His humility and obedience. Jesus was born in a manger, a lowly place, to demonstrate that He came as a servant to save the humble and needy. On the cross, Jesus exemplified total surrender to the will of God.
Humility is one of the most important virtues for Christians to cultivate. Humility has the same close connection with the word “submit”. Jesus said that He is gentle and lowly in heart (Mt 11:29). Gentleness leads to submission, and lowliness leads to repentance and obedience. How can we be “gentle and lowly” in heart? We need to be “babes” who humbly accept and practice God’s will (Mt 11:25). Babes refer to spiritual infants who receive God’s revelation with simple faith. Humility is maintaining a teachable attitude and a willingness to bend to the will of God.
Jesus humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death. He provides the perfect example of total surrender. Crucifixion was the cruelest punishment of the Roman Empire. The cross represents obedience, humiliation, and suffering. Facing crucifixion, Jesus prayed three times in the garden of Gethsemane. Through His three prayers, He had completely denied His own will and submitted to the Father’s will. He then received strength from above, which enabled Him to face the sufferings ahead. In our journey of faith, we will encounter many difficulties (Acts 14:22). Every difficulty may be the cross that God wants us to carry. If we overcome the difficulties, there will be hope of salvation and we will be rewarded the glorious crown. However, it is difficult to change from being self-centered to total submission. The way to overcome is through prayers.
The motivation for the Lord Jesus to humble Himself was His great love that brought Him to this world to die on the cross for us. Likewise, our love for our brethren and God also compels us to forsake our selfish ambitions and serve one another with a heart of submission. Our humble service can be a joy rather than a burden.