August 23, 2012
The King and His Maiden
“But made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant,” (Philippians 2:7 NIV).
Friend to Friend
Soren Kierkegaard crafted a parable titled, “The King and His Maiden” to demonstrate the lengths God took to win our hearts. It goes something like this:
Suppose there was a king who loved a humble maiden. The king was like no other king. Every statesman trembled before his power. No one dared breathe a word against him, for he had the strength to crush all opponents.
And yet this mighty king was melted by love for a humble maiden who lived in a poor village in his kingdom. How could he declare his love for her? In an odd sort of way, his kingliness tied his hands. If he brought her to the palace and crowned her head with jewels and clothed her body in royal robes, she would surely not resist-no one dared resist him. But would she love him?
She would say she loved him, of course, but would she truly? Or would she live with him in fear, nursing a private grief for the life she had left behind? Would she be happy at his side? How could he know for sure? If he rode to her forest cottage in his royal carriage, with an armed escort waving bright banners, that too would overwhelm her. He did not want a cringing subject. He wanted a lover, an equal. He wanted her to forget that he was a king and she a humble maiden and to let shared love cross the gulf between them. For it is only in love that the unequal can be made equal.
The king, convinced he could not elevate the maiden without crushing her freedom, resolved to descend to her. Clothed as a beggar, he approached her cottage with a worn cloak fluttering loose about him. This was not just a disguise—the king took on a totally new identity—He had renounced his throne to declare his love and to win hers.
Likewise, the King, your King, lowered himself to a place of putting on human flesh in His pursuit of your heart. Paul described it this way:
[Jesus] who, being in very nature God,
Did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
But made himself nothing,
Taking the very nature of a servant,
Being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
He humbled himself
And became obedient to death –
Even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
And gave him the name that is above every name,
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
In heaven and on earth and under the earth,
And every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
To the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:6-11)
Why would God do such a thing? Because He loves you and longs to have an intimate, personal relationship with you. It was a high price to pay, but Jesus knew you were worth it.
Oh friend, you are not only chosen, you are pursued to the utmost! Chosen. Pursued. Loved. And when you understand the great lengths God has gone through and continues to go through to win your love, it changes how you view all of life.
Jesus, sometimes I can barely take it in – all that You gave up for me. For me! Help me to lead a life worthy of the price You paid.
In Your Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
How has knowing all that Jesus gave up for you changed your life?
How does knowing all that Jesus gave up for you, change the way you see yourself?
Click over to my blog/devo postand share your answers. I’m going to randomly pick two comments and send them a free copy of my new book, A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More.
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