Perfect Humility, Perfect Majesty - 20 April 2020
By Louise Gevers
“Now my heart is troubled — and what shall I say? Shall I say, ‘Father, do not let this hour come upon me’? But that is why I came — so that I might go through this hour of suffering. Father, bring glory to your name!” Then a voice spoke from heaven, “I have brought glory to it, and I will do so again.”
“Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father glorify your name!” John 12:27-28
The birth of no ordinary baby opened the heavens to angels singing, “Glory to God in the highest”, (Luke 2:14) bringing shepherds from the surrounding hills to worship Him. No ordinary star alerted Gentile kings to the significance of his birth, making them embark on a strenuous journey to search for him to ask, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:2)
The gifts that the Magi brought to this child, born in a stable, were an indication of the complexity of His true stature. The gift of gold symbolised His kingly status; frankincense, used in prayer, His deity; and myrrh, an oil used in embalming, His death. Jesus’ journey to the cross was already in place, underscoring His unique kingly mission as the Son of God on earth.
Jesus lived an apparently ordinary life but, “grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men”.(Luke 2:52) His baptism, followed by forty days of fasting and being tempted in the desert, led into His three year ministry. From this time, His rich, inspired teachings, and the many miracles He performed, drew the crowds to acclaim Him and follow Him. They proclaimed Him Messiah as He entered Jerusalem on a donkey, yet He was never crowned in the way they expected Him to be.
Jesus brought heaven’s true values of love, humility and sacrifice to earth and revolutionised the idea of greatness. Single-minded in His mission and perfectly submitted to His Father, Jesus gave His disciples the direction and comfort they needed to help them through the days ahead when they would be frightened and alone.
On this Thursday before His death Jesus gathered His friends around Him to share His last meal. In the absence of a servant, He rose and washed his disciples’ feet thus showing them, as John recognised, “the full extent of his love.” (John 13:1). By this example of humility, He provided them with the key to the Kingdom of Heaven and wisdom to succeed in the work He would leave them to do. “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (John 13:14-15).
Will we also follow His example?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for showing us through Your life that true majesty and greatness can only be achieved through love, humility and service in submission to God. Would You help me in this difficult world and time to embrace true humility that enables me to love others sacrificially as You did and reflect Your Spirit in my life. Amen