Monday, March 21, 2011

March 21, 2011 … The Humility of Jesus’ Kenosis

Passage of the Day: Philippians 2: 7 - [see underlined verse] 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but [Jesus] made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

My Journal for Today: I know why Jesus said that He came to us as the Son of God. He expressed that in God’s Temple by reciting, from God’s word in Isaiah 61: 1 – 2, the prophesy of the Messiah coming to do what was written in the Old Testament [see Luke 4: 17 – 21] …

SCRIPTURE: Luke 4: 17-2117 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him [Jesus]. Unrolling it, He found the place where it is written: 18 "The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21 and he began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

Now, … even though I know this in my head, I believe and understand what was happening in that passage and from today’s verse, in my heart I don’t think I’ll ever be able to comprehend the “WHY” behind the Second Person of the Trinity being willing to empty Himself of His majesty and become that very special Babe in Bethlehem … so that all the prophesies concerning Him, as Messiah, would be fulfilled and He would become the Lamb of God Who saved mankind from sin. This act of God’s Son, by the way, is sometimes referred to as the doctrine of “kenosis,” which is from the Greek verb “keno,” which means to make something of value null and void.

Today’s verse (Phil. 2: 7) is one place in Scripture where that verb is used; and “kenosis” a gross understatement of what Christ’s incarnation was all about. The theological doctrine, as MacArthur teaches this morning, called “the kenosis,” was the Greek reference for Christ emptying Himself of His glory/majesty for … ME (and you, of course). And don’t you just stand in awe of what today’s verse describes. And since we’ve been discussing HUMILITY this month, in this verse we see what is probably the most powerful example of Christ’s infinitely humble nature as can every be found in the Bible, save the Cross and Christ’s Passion, of course. And, if we are to aspire to Christlike humility, this is the model we must use as our example … our beacon of hope to be like our Lord, as exhorted in Phil. 2: 5.

We certainly need a model or a target of humility, falling so short of God’s glory as humans in our sinfulness (see Rom. 3: 23). We know that Jesus, Himself, called His disciples (and all believers) to be empty of self as we follow Him (see Luke 9: 23 - have you got that one memorized yet – if not, today should be the day to do that little self-emptying task for Christ – because it’s the first day of Spring – a day where something new from God should come alive!!!). Christ, of course, would never call us toward any course of action, in His Name, if we could not, with His grace, be able to do what He commands (besides 1st Cor. 10: 13 and 2nd Cor. 12: 9, see the Great Commission in Matt. 28: 19 – 20). When He calls us, His promise is to be, not only with us (Heb. 13: 5) but ahead of us (see Deut. 31: 8). Therefore, we can fulfill Paul’s exhortation to be humble like Christ (again, Phil. 2: 5); and Christ’s magnificent example points the way for us.

My Prayer Today: Fill my emptiness with Your fullness, O Lord! Amen

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