Because He stooped so low

Today’s passage is Philippians 2:9-11.

 9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
      and gave him the name above all other names,
 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
      in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
      to the glory of God the Father.

Sometimes I like to read the Amplified version alongside the verse of the day because it helps to make some of the word meanings clearer since I don’t speak Greek. This is one of those instances where I think reading the Amplified text really brings out some of what this verse is saying.

9Therefore [because He stooped so low] God has highly exalted Him and has [a]freely bestowed on Him the name that is above every name,

    10That in (at) the name of Jesus every knee [b]should (must) bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

    11And every tongue [[c]frankly and openly] confess and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Therefore [because He stooped so low] is the part that caught my eye this morning. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross amazes me.

If you read a few verses before in the Amplified version, the description of what Christ really did is even more amazing:

 6Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [[b]possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not [c]think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped [d]or retained,

    7But stripped Himself [of all privileges and [e]rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being.

Jesus is God. He’s just as much God as though He had never been a man. I don’t understand how it’s possible, but that’s what the Bible says. So I believe it. 

Jesus didn’t have to die on the cross. He didn’t have to suffer humiliation and torture, but He chose to do it because that was the only way to save us. And it wasn’t just because He loved us so much. Granted, He did. But it wasn’t Jesus’s idea to die that way. It was God’s. God sent Him to the cross because it was part of God’s plan.

And Jesus, even though He was God Himself (I know this is confusing; don’t ask me to explain), had every right to push back. Jesus had every reason to refuse to go, and He would have been justified. But instead He chose to be humble and accepted God’s will no matter how much it was going to hurt.

How many of us are like that truly? How many of us are willing to do what God asks us no matter what it will cost us physically or emotionally? How many of us are that humble?

Most of us are too proud to even worship. Many are too proud to even pray to ask God for help. Most of us think we are so very very important and can’t be bothered with the uncomfortable parts of living a Christian life.

The Bible says here that God exalted Christ because He lowered Himself. God gave Him a name above all names because Jesus let Himself be dragged through the dirt. And when the end comes, everyone will recognize who He is, whether they believed in Him or not. Notice the Amplified Version says that “every knee (must) bow.” When Jesus is revealed in His true glory, people won’t have a choice; they’ll be on their knees whether they intended to be or not.

If we want God to work in our lives and accomplish incredible things, the first step to doing that is backing off and realizing that none of our talents come from us. God is the one who has given us everything we have.

That doesn’t mean groveling on the floor or having an unhealthy view of your self-worth. But it does mean being humble by recognizing that anything good in your life and anything useful in your repertoire of skills came from God and not from anything you’ve done. Maybe you’ve worked hard to develop those skills, but God gave you the strength to do so.

So be humble this morning and let God lift you up in whatever you’re doing today.