ODJ: towards the small

June 24, 2015 

READ: Philippians 2:1-11 

[Jesus] humbled himself (v.8).

Recently, after I had a blunt interaction with my oldest son, my wife brought me aside and said, “I think you were a little hard on him. You really swelled up and charged into the situation with a lot of force.” It wasn’t that my son didn’t need to be corrected (he did), but the way I dealt with him didn’t express the gentleness my son needed.

Philippians 2 gives the most sweeping, elegant expression of Jesus’ gentle, humble posture towards humanity—even as He came to reckon with our evil and rebellion. “Though [Jesus] was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to” (v.6). Rather, Jesus “gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being” (v.7). In other words, God bent towards us—towards the small.

God didn’t exploit us. He didn’t overwhelm us. He didn’t terrorise us. Rather, in Jesus, God bent towards us. He insisted on humility. This means that we have a God who refused to put His own interests first; One who felt no compulsion to hold tightly to whatever was rightly His (which, being God, is everything). This is a God who (rather than taking) gives, a God who (rather than devouring others to fill Himself) empties Himself to fill others. God gave Himself away and poured Himself out even to His ultimate humiliation. “He humbled himself in obedience . . . and died a criminal’s death on a cross” (v.8).

—Winn Collier

365-day-plan: Mark 1:16-39

Return to Philippians 2:1-5. Based on Jesus’ own posture of humility, how does God intend for Jesus’ example to express itself in your life? 
How does your vision of God’s posture towards you need to be transformed by the example of Jesus’ humility? Where do you, like Jesus, need to bend towards others?