For The Kingdom: Joy-Filled Living In Difficult Days | Day 27
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”Philippians 2:5-7
Palm Sunday, the day we celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem was a testimony to His willingness to become a lowly servant. Fresh off the heels of raising Lazarus from the dead, there was no one who was trending more than Jesus at that moment in human history. Think about the lengths that popular people of power and position make an entry these days. While a stretch limo was not an option, Jesus could have arrived on a heavenly chariot! At the very least, He could have come in on a royal horse. Instead, Jesus moseys in in on a lowly mule. If you know the Scriptures, you may know that even this took place to fulfill an Old Testament prophesy of Zechariah; “Behold, your King is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey.” (Matthew 21:5)
Jesus could have entered the city wearing a splendid arrayment, the finery of a King’s robe. Considering the outlandish lengths that celebrities will go to in order to garner attention for their gaudy accoutrements, it seems rather uninspiring that Jesus would come wearing the very humble garments that the Roman soldiers would soon strip from Him.
Jesus could have entered the city with a mighty entourage, even an army of angels. Certainly, someone worth his salt as a leader would have some other big name VIP’s to roll up with. Instead, Jesus arrives with a small band of men who were at best ordinary and at worst ignominious.
Jesus, the King of Glory “made himself nothing (NIV)…taking the form of a servant.” All of this was His choice. Jesus stripped himself of His glory. This phrase in the Greek is Kenosis, which literally means, He “emptied himself.” Jesus did not empty Himself of His deity, He was still fully God, but He emptied Himself of His glory. Like a cup, Christ poured out all of His glory.
Although Jesus was still a King who was worthy to be served, he taught His disciples that He had come “not to be served, but to be a servant.” Mark 10:45 A few days after riding into Jerusalem as a King, the King demonstrated the heart of a servant.
“When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” John 13:13-17
This is the way of Jesus and for those who would follow Him as a disciple. Our purpose is not to amass glory and be served, but to empty ourselves of glory, pouring ourselves out as a servant.
When we serve…
1. We live in obedience to Jesus the Servant King. “among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must become a servant” Matthew 20:26
2. We are blessed by Jesus the Servant King.“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’” Matthew 25:23
3. The world sees Jesus the Servant King. “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16