Jesus modelled the antithesis of pride by humbling himself as an obedient servant to accomplish God’s purposes through his death on the cross.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
In this passage Paul urges us to have the same mindset of Jesus with regard to pride in our relationships with each other.
Imagine being the son of Bill Gates and going undercover to help establish a shelter in war-torn Syria. You have daddy’s credit card, but you are told not to use it, unless you absolutely have to. You are told to befriend the locals, but not reveal your true identity in order to get special privileges. And then it gets bad, shots are fired, violence erupts, your fellow helpers abuse you. You are wounded and sick, but you are not allowed to use daddy’s satellite phone to airlift you out of there in his private helicopter. How long would you last?
Now upsize this scenario by a gazillion and you have but a pale reflection of the humility Jesus displayed as he completed his mission for God his father. As king of the cosmos, Jesus could have used his status to supernaturally elevate himself to a position of power and authority. But this was not God his father’s agenda, so Jesus chose the path of obedience rather than self-fulfilment, humility rather than pride. Jesus was obedient to the end, and the end was a crown of thorns and a cruel cross.
Christ’s obedience and humility changed history forever as he brought us back into a relationship with God, by living the life we should have lived and taking our sin and brokenness upon himself in death. As Jesus glorified God in his life and death, God has glorified him by exalting him to the highest place, and giving him the title of Lord, which means Master – he is the one and only Master of the universe!
Head: What does this passage teach us about dealing with pride?
Heart: How do you feel about depths Christ stooped to come to earth as a mere mortal and suffer the way he did, in order to save us fromsin, death and hell?
Hands: Practice humility today, by going out of your way to serve someone in your life that you do not necessarily like. This could take the form of a kind word or an offer to assist them or even buying them a coffee.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for showing us how to counter pride, by your example of ultimate humility. Help us to live not just for this life, but for the life to come as we live our lives in obedience to your Word. Oh that we may hear those words when we meet you at the end of our lives “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Destroy the pride in our hearts Lord and give us the grace to be humble. In Jesus name and by the power of your Spirit.
A song to listen to: When I Survey