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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Saturday-A Servant

 

rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

 

Philippians 2:7

 

When Jesus made himself nothing, this doesn’t mean that he had a poor self-image. He didn’t go around putting himself down in front of others. He didn’t let people push him around when it came to the truth. And until his arrest, he never went through physical abuse either.

 

As eternal God from all eternity, God the Son became a servant. And to be able to live out his servanthood, he had to make himself nothing. This doesn’t mean that he stopped being God. God the Son was and forever is God.

 

He set aside all the outward expressions of being God. While still being God, he put aside what was naturally due to him: adoration, worship, being glorified. And with his godly expectations being put on the shelf, he expressed his servanthood by being born into humanity.

 

We see this so perfectly when he washed the disciples’ feet[1]. He was the teacher. He was the leader. He was the master. And what did he do? He took off his outer clothing and wrapped a towel around him his waist. Pouring water into a basin, he then washed their feet and dried them too. So, how could Jesus do this? Was it part of some gameplan? Was it on some leadership website as a way to impress your followers? Was it something he saw and imitated? The answer is no to all these. Actually, it was based on what he already knew.

 

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;

 

John 13:3

 

This knowledge about the Father wasn’t some new revelation. It wasn’t something Jesus earned or achieved. He knew that he was one with God the Father from eternity past. He also had complete assurance that everything here on Earth and throughout the universe was put under his power. Jesus had all the information about his being one with the Father[2].

 

But more than this, Jesus had complete knowledge and assurance that he came from heaven. His existence didn’t start at his birth, or even at his conception by the Holy Spirit[3]. As the only God-man in history, Jesus never had a start. His existence goes back to before the beginning of time.

 

And if that wasn’t enough, he also had total knowledge and assurance that he was going back to his heavenly Father. There wasn’t a single doubt about this anywhere in his mind or emotions. He knew exactly where his eternity was going to be spent.

 

One of the reasons Jesus had to come as a man was to live out his servanthood. You can call yourself a servant. You can put a job title of servant on your resume. You can shout it from the rooftops that you’re a servant. Or you can post your brains out on social media that you’re a servant. But none of that matters. The only way to prove that you’re a servant is by serving. Period. You have to actually serve people to be a servant. And you need a body to do that. You need hands, feet, ears, and a voice to serve.

 

And his human likeness was a real and genuine likeness. He wasn’t half-human. No, he was 100% human. But in his body, he didn’t show everything that was. You couldn’t physically see his godhood. All you could see with your eyes was his physical appearance. He was God was clothed within a human body. The old Christmas carol says it best.

 

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, Hail th’ incarnate Deity!

Pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus our Immanuel[4].

 

And this is where I just about fall apart. It is unthinkable to me that God almighty, the maker and sustainer of the universe would not only do this for a bunch of ragtag sinners like all of us on planet Earth. But that he would go to all this trouble for me. For me.

 

I can’t speak for you, but I know what a person I am. Who I really am. You only see a friendly and kind guy. But just below the surface is someone who you wouldn’t want dating your daughter. Someone who’s incredibly selfish. Quick tempered. Easily hurry. Jesus’ human likeness was fully and totally real. He was all man, but with one giant exception. He was totally without sin[5]. God himself was the only one who could offer the once-and-for-all sacrifice for all sin.

 

Our response to Jesus making himself nothing starts with thankful adoration and worship. But it doesn’t stop there. It must change our words, thoughts, actions, and attitudes. We must be ready, willing, and able to serve others. If he could serve us, why can’t we serve him?

 

Noodling Questions

 

  • How can we understand God come down into a person and living here on Earth?

  • What kind of person would you imagine God would be? How would he live?

  • Describe what it means to you that God came in Jesus as a servant.


[1] John 13:1-17

[2] John 10:30

[3] Luke 1:35

[4] Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Charles Wesley (1739)

[5] 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 3:5

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