Humility and Obedience

Read: Hebrews 5:5-10

He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death. (Phil. 2:8)

In his human existence, Jesus Christ chose, in obedience to God the Father, to take the lowest place. That is what the word “humbled” means. How long has it been since we did that—took a position of service out of the limelight, one that nobody really had a clue about? And then served in that place with enthusiasm, energy, and commitment, as if the entire church depended on our work.

For Jesus, taking the lowest place ultimately pointed to the cross. Crucifixion was a form of punishment reserved for slaves, rebels, and criminals. In the Jewish religious law, anyone who was crucified died under the curse of God. And in polite Roman society, the word “cross” was considered an obscenity, not to be spoken in conversation. Yet Jesus obediently and humbly followed the path of the cross to the very end.

The cross lies at the heart of the gospel. It is in the cross where the One who is “equal with God” has most clearly revealed the truth about God: that God is love, and his love expresses itself in obedient sacrifice for the sake of those he loves. Think of it in these terms: “What have I done for others, unselfishly, as a servant, that could be described as a sacrifice?” Think in terms of time, energy, and finances. Any sacrifice there?

As you pray, confess the times when you have struggled with humility. Ask God for help to serve obediently.

About the Author

David Walls is a pastor and writer who has served in ministry for more than 40 years.

This entry is part 22 of 31 in the series Philippians: To All the Saints