“And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:8
Imagine that you are the most powerful person in the world. There is nothing you can´t do. Every president of every nation and worldwide organization obeys your commands. You have it all, and there is no need you can´t meet. You can do as you please. Now think about voluntarily relinquishing that position in order to have a simple, sometimes even difficult life. That is, to a limited extent, what we see in today´s verses.
This passage is known as the “kenosis” of Christ, the doctrine of Christ’s self-emptying in His incarnation. The Greek word “kenosis” literally means to empty. It comes from the Greek word “kenos,” which means a place or a vessel which contains nothing.
Jesus´ life didn´t start in the manger. He always existed. But, by being born as a child, incarnating Himself as a human, He decided to empty Himself to take a human form. Why would He do that? Because He had to die on the cross and shed His blood for the forgiveness of the sins of all humanity. In order to die, He had to be born.
Jesus added humanity to His deity and gave us the ultimate example of humility. He was mocked, shamed, and humiliated in public. He endured temptation, was hungry, thirsty, and tired. He chose to suffer and to die. How do we dare to think of ourselves as better than anyone else? Jesus emptied Himself while we try to fill up with as many things as possible. Reading these verses is a humbling cure for my proud heart.
Dear God, forgive me for the pride that battles to fill my heart. Help me follow Jesus´ example of humility. Help me do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility, count others more significant than myself. Amen.
Mini challenge: Have a sincere talk with a friend or family member about humility. How can we practice it on a daily basis? Brainstorm some practical ideas.
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