I was thinking this morning about the paradox of Jesus coming to earth as the express image of God, God’s perfect representation as the Second Person of the Trinity, the eternal Word of God, but coming as a servant, in humility. But how does this humility and service teach us who God is, who is high and exalted above all?
And then this morning at breakfast I read this psalm:
“Psalm 113:1 Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, Praise the name of the LORD! 2 Blessed be the name of the LORD From this time forth and forevermore! 3 From the rising of the sun to its going down The LORD’S name is to be praised. 4 The LORD is high above all nations, His glory above the heavens. 5 Who is like the LORD our God, Who dwells on high, 6 Who humbles Himself to behold The things that are in the heavens and in the earth? 7 He raises the poor out of the dust, And lifts the needy out of the ash heap, 8 That He may seat him with princes– With the princes of His people. 9 He grants the barren woman a home, Like a joyful mother of children. Praise the LORD!” (Psa 113:1-9 NKJ)
Look at that! Our high and glorious God, above all heavens (verse 4) shows his even greater glory and greatness in that He, God, humbles Himself! Speaking even before the Incarnation, apart from the humanity of Jesus, God condescends to notice and take up the cause of the poor and weak, the widow and the orphan. He humbles Himself to serve us. The error is not in thinking that God would serve us, the error is thinking that we can dictate to God how it is that He serves us.
And that means that it is when we humble ourselves and serve others, especially those lower than us in station, those we may view as unworthy of our time and attention, that we are most like God. Not just most like Jesus in His incarnation, but like God in His divine eternity.
Of course that shows us what real humility looks like. Not saying, “Oh poor, no-good, stupid me.” Not in saying, I have nothing to offer so I’ll just stay at home by myself watching TV. But in seeking the good of others, especially those viewed as lower in power, prestige, or status than ourselves. Humility might not look “nice” the way we think of it. Humility might look like smashing the idols of the heathen, destroying their empires, breaking their bow and their chariot, because doing so gets their boot off the neck of the poor and needy.
And of course Jesus in His incarnation is the fullest representation of what this really looks like. He who dined with the despised, who healed the sick, who cleansed the lepers, but who resisted the proud, who rebuked the self-righteous, who kicked over the tables of the greedy- Jesus in His incarnation perfectly revealed to us the true nature not only of true and righteous man, but also revealed to us who God really is.