December 18, 2016
“Jesus Who Came As a Lowly Man”
When Trump’s victory was confirmed in the presidential election, Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence Indiana Governor and his family stood in front of the camera and said, “Now I am here I stand very humble. Thank you for the wonderful grace of God. I give glory to God.” During his election, when he introduced himself, he said that I am a freed man, an orator, and a Republican, in this order. The meaning of the word was that a Christian is his or her identity; it was a confession that it is the first important factor. He is a descendant of an Irish immigrant. His grandfather immigrated and settled in the US. He became a bus driver. He was born in an ordinary house that operated a gas station after serving in the city. And most like Irish immigrants, he was also a Catholic. But when he went to University of Hanover in Indiana, he met Protestant Christians who have received Christ as Savior. There, he experienced regeneration and became interested in evangelical Christianity. He participated in many Catholic ceremonies. But through this, he could not get the intimacy with God that he wanted. He said that I was feeling something missing, but I was shocked when I met them. Especially, when I saw the cross of one of your seniors and envied him. Then they said to me “Mike, remember. You must walk in your heart before you cross your neck.” They gave me a shocking advice. After that, at a Christian music festival, I met Jesus who died on the cross for the sake of my sin and forgave us all our sins. I gave my life to Jesus Christ at that time; it seemed to burst out with gratitude and joy. And I gave my life to Jesus Christ.” Also he never attempted a negative campaign to slander his opponent during the election campaign. And, his colleagues call him “the man who wore Jesus’ vest”.
This is a life as a lowly man even though he has the second highest post in the United States. Also, it is a true Christian life as well. So, rulers must be a lowly man so that they could see the people and could care for the poor and the powerless people. Psalms 138:6 said “Though the LORD is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar.” The King David knew that God made him the king of Israel when he lived as a lowly man but a refugee when he was the proud. So, he confessed that to live as a lowly man is blessing.
The text message we have read is of the word that Jesus came this world as a lowly man. Then, why did he come as such a lowly man? That question remains an unsolvable mystery for the Jews up to now and perhaps until Jesus comes again. Saint Paul knew the answer and witnessed for us. By looking into this message together, let us find how we must live a life as a lowly man. Then, how must we live a life as Jesus who came as a lowly man? (Pause)
1) Think of others as better than yourselves.
Verse 6 said “he was being in very nature God, but did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,” It means that Jesus refused and did not think that he would be treated as God. However, he was the very nature of God which means that he was, he is, and he will be God in nature forever. The nature of God will not change even though he changed fashion. It is just like a human being. The nature of human will not change even though fashion or bodily shape will change. So, Jesus was God in nature but he did not claim the status, being, glory of God. Saint Paul found this and asked us to be like Jesus by not considering everyone is equal instead to consider others are better than me. The Philippi Christian had struggles, contends, and antagonized one another because they did not think of others as better than themselves. They became arrogant instead to be humble. Most people have self-esteem and become arrogant. Verse 3 said “in humility consider others better than you.” Humility is to lower your value. If we hope to live a lowly man we must come down on step and raise others. Jesus came as lowly man then moreover we must lower ourselves before Jesus and others. Then, how must we live a life as Jesus who came as a lowly man? (Pause)
2) Empty yourself.
Jesus emptied himself and that results were “taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” He became a servant and completely obeyed all the word of God. As a servant he was born in a manger, lived in poor, and even was borrowed a tomb after he died. And, he became a human. To be a human he emptied his glory as God and became a complete human who had five senses like we have. He had human nature but did not give up his divine nature. He withheld the nature of ubiquity, omnipotence, omnipresence, and other divine power for a while. Paul realized this and emptied himself for Jesus. He emptied the excellent family lineage, attainments, experiences, status, fame, authority, and other secular things that he was proud of. This was not comparable to Jesus who emptied the heavenly glory but he tried to imitate the life of Jesus. Likewise, if we hope to live as lowly man we must empty ourselves. To empty is not discard completely but to withhold them. It is because they will be obstacles to the Gospel. So, if anything that becomes an obstacle to our faith we must control and restrain them. These things will never disappear even after we believed in Jesus but will stay inside us. Before we believe in Jesus they were our strength and pride but now we must not trust them as our strength and pride anymore. Our strength and pride is Jesus who came as a lowly man for us. To live with this attitude we must empty ourselves. Then, how must we live a life as Jesus who came as a lowly man? (Pause)
3) Obey everything for God.
Jesus obeyed God even after death on cross to redeem our sins. Obedience is a complete submission even though something is not understandable, unreasonable, or irrational. That is the way to obey God’s word. Jesus obeyed God voluntarily but we do not. So, Paul used a strong word for us. The most difficult issue for Israelites was to obey God’s word and so do the people in the present age. Paul realized that Jesus obeyed God because that was the word of God. Likewise, we must obey God’s word because that is the word of God. In certain cases, we should not have to absolutely obey a human for humans are not perfect. However, we should obey God absolutely for God and His word are absolutely perfect. This must be the only reason that we must obey God. Do not try to be picky of God’s word or to understand everything of it. Why? By our intellectual ability that is impossible. Angels who are much smarter that we are did not understand everything of God. We could not obey if we try to obey God after understanding of Him.
Jesus obeyed God completely then “God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, 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.” This was the greatest reward to Jesus who obeyed God unconditionally. At the same time this will be a similar reward for us while we live in this world and the new world to come. God will elevate us with an honorable name, make us to be respected by others, and to glorify God with a complete obedience. This will happen to us when we think of others as better than us, empty ourselves, and obey to everything for God absolutely. I hope we all live with these blessings. Amen. (Pause)