The Humble Servant
Philippians 2:5-8 Luke 1:80 Luke 2:52 Hebrews 5: 8
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Philippians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God Philippians 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
In March I wrote a short devotion on the Mind of Christ, it was based on the verses in Philippians chapter 2 mainly from verse seven. I acknowledged in that devotion that I was unsure what I was going to find and what impact it was going to have on me.
Today I want look at verse 8, “and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself”.
In light of this passage of scripture I believe that Paul had an incredible grasp of who Christ really was and what He ultimately achieved; he also recognised that the church of Philippi had brought forth good fruit and wished to further their belief in Christ. Think about this for a second, it’s a massive concept to grasp, and what His death and resurrection represents for us.
The creator of the universe voluntarily left His throne and made a portion of Himself visible, He then embarked on a journey that no other human being could ever undertake, the greatest chasm that humanity could ever cross, from Infinite Majesty to death on a Roman cross, that we might be ransomed from Adam’s sin.
The years between His visit to the temple when aged twelve and the beginning of His ministry some eighteen years later have caused many Christians to question what he was doing and learning during that time. I imagine this is partly because what Jesus did at the end of his life appears more significant than what He did in the beginning.
It was His death and resurrection that bought eternal life for us, not His birth and growing up years. Yet Jesus had to learn, He needed to develop His wineskin of responsibility in order to hold the new wine of the Kingdom.
The Gospel of Luke contains key scriptures that teach about Jesus' growth and preparation for His earthly ministry and give us an insight into what was happening during those unknown 18 years. It is only a small glimpse, but it reflects a pattern of growth over time.
Luke 2:52 precisely teaches us this lesson, "Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God and all the people."
ln relation to human growth, Luke's Gospel uses two different words, with different meanings in the original Greek for what is often translated into English as "grew". Luke, speaking of John in chapter l:80 says “John grew up and became strong in spirit." And of Jesus in chapter 2:40, "There the child grew up healthy and strong." The word applies clearly to natural physical growth.
It would be obvious that He had to grow physically, He was born as a baby, He grew exactly as we did, He became strong, and as He grew up we know He would have worked with His father Joseph in the family business.
But here is the difference. In chapter 2:52, Luke uses the Greek "prokopto" which has a different translation and meaning for the word grew, it literally means "to beat forward" or "to lengthen out by hammering". It means to advance, to progress. By this definition this growing is a purposeful action, not a passive, natural growth but a deliberate, conscious decision to advance down the path, and this is the path of humble servantship that Jesus knew He was required to walk.
The four areas Luke 2:52 speaks of are intellectual growth, physical growth, spiritual growth and emotional growth, all essential in Jesus life for Him to advance down His earthly role.
During those 18 years Jesus was developing His emotional growth, and the qualities necessary for emotional growth are self-awareness, self-management and empathy, qualities that do not simply happen so no matter whether He was speaking to the highest in the land or just the common people, He displayed the same compassion, empathy and discernment.
The unsearchable, God from beyond the beginning, chose to reveal His desire for a family and came to this earth.
You Looked Out Upon Us through the Eyes of Jesus Christ & spoke to us through His Mouth; You chose to take on the role of a bonded servant.
You became obedient unto death, the death on the cross.