The Ultimate Example of Humility
Read Philippians 2:5-8 (ESV)
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.
How did Jesus model humility for us? How can you imitate Christ’s humility today?
What is your attitude towards menial tasks? Do you grumble when you have to scrub a toilet or take out the trash? Do you gripe about doing chores that you consider to be beneath you? I once saw a quote from Mother Teresa that challenged and convicted the attitude of my heart. She said, “Wash the plate. Not because it is dirty, nor because you are told to wash it, but because you love the person who will use it next."
It brought to my mind a picture of Jesus. He wasn’t washing dishes though, He was washing feet (John 13:4-17). It was a lowly job and He didn’t have to do it. He is God after all! He shouldn’t have to scrub His disciples filthy feet. Peter rightly understood that Jesus was too great for such a task. And yet, Jesus says, “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” (vs. 14-15). Jesus showed us an example of how to humbly serve one another in love.
During His earthly ministry, Jesus modeled humble service motivated by love for others. In today’s verse, Paul points out that Jesus is one with God and yet, He “emptied himself.” He set aside His divine rights and stooped down to our lowly human level. Our Master became a servant. Our God became a man. The One with ultimate authority submitted His will to the Father and obeyed even to the point of death on a cross.
Paul’s instruction was to “have this mind amongst yourselves.” We are to have the same mindset as Jesus Christ. No job was beneath Him even though He was the King. He had the authority as Master, yet He laid down His life in humble service. What was His motivation? He didn’t wash the disciples’ feet because they were dirty. He didn’t die for us because He was told He had to. He did it because He loved us. Romans 5:8 says, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Friends, Jesus practiced what He preached. He modeled His expectations for us and He calls us to follow Him and do as He did. Today, I encourage you to show your love for someone by serving them. It won’t be glamorous. It might go unnoticed or be unappreciated. The recipient may not deserve it. But it isn’t about you or your pride. It is about serving with the same mindset as Jesus Christ—in love with humility.
Lord, thank You for being the ultimate example of what it means to humbly serve. Please help me to be of the same mind as You so that I can serve You and those around me out of love with humility. Amen.