By James Metsger
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. (Philippians 2:5-8)
When I was a kid, I would wrestle my uncle Dave. I would try with all my might to pin him, but he would just tie me up like a pretzel, yell “Pretzel”, and then shout, “Say Uncle!” Uncle Dave wanted me to submit. He wanted me to stop fighting. Typically, we submit when we can’t fight any more, when all our strength is gone, when we realize we’re fighting a losing battle. Isn’t it all the more amazing to think that Jesus, all-powerful Jesus, submitted himself.
Jesus submitted to his Father. There are many times Jesus says in the gospels, “I’ve come to do the will of my Father.” In our world, power is often seen in position. And the idea of submission grates on the nerves of power.
Our instincts naturally shrink back from it, but in Christ we see the all-powerful creator stoop down to serve the created.
He submitted his will and his way to his Father even though he knew the path of submission would bring ridicule, scorn, hatred and pain. And because we know the character of Jesus, we can be assured that submission is not mindlessly falling in line with authority or sitting in silence while being walked all over. Jesus was not weak or inept, so submission cannot be those things either.
Jesus teaches us that submission is the godly fruit of humility. It is putting trust in a God who is supremely worthy of that trust. I’m convinced that sometimes life is not a matter of discovering what we don’t know, but submitting to what we do know. And we do know that Jesus submitted to the Father. He did it in his ministry here on earth. He did it in the garden as he neared death. He did it in finishing the redemptive work he started.
Jesus emptied himself. He humbled himself. He submitted himself. He sacrificed himself. And let’s not forget that Christ’s submission led to his ultimate exaltation. God exalted him above everything else, and he is now seated at the right hand of God.
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:8)
Can you think of a sacrifice you’ve made for someone you love?
Can you think of a sacrifice someone has made for you?