August 24, 2015
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
The Selfless Christ
He became flesh … John 1:14
He became poor … 2 Cor 8:9
He became obedient … Phil 2:8
I am He … that become dead … Rev 1:18
We cannot conceive of nor identify with a totally selfless man. There was only one Man Who was selfless in every way. He was marked by:
For the remainder of the human race, humanity was something we had no choice in entering; He alone chose to become a man. For us, it is a position of dignity. For Him it was a step of immeasurable condescension. Elsewhere we are told that “He also Himself took part of the same” (blood and flesh – Heb 2:14). Luke tells us that the Spirit of God was involved in His incarnation (Luke 1:34). We are told that the Father prepared a body for Him (Heb 10:5). But He willingly took a body, not to veil Godhead glory, but as a vehicle to reveal God.
It is natural to aspire to riches and wealth, to desire a life free from the burden of poverty and care. He chose to come to poor peasants in a small village. He came to work with His hands and labor in a carpenter’s shop until it was God’s time for Him to move publicly in His ministry. He knew the ministry of sisters, the loan of a colt and a tomb, the open home at Bethany. He left the world with nothing material, His few remaining garments divided among His captors. He became poor, not to evoke sympathy or admiration from followers, but to enable us to become rich in spiritual blessings.
He humbled Himself! There was nothing internal to His person or external in His behavior that led to humbling. Men might seek to humiliate Him, but He always moved with dignity amidst the greatest of abuse. But He humbled Himself. He willingly was marked out by a complete and total trust in His God. The crowning sin of humanity is our independence of God. All of us in our sins sought to be our own god, determining for ourselves right and wrong, choosing our own will, and going our own way. He alone chose a life of total uncompromising dependence on His God.
He knew no failure or frailty, no inconsistency or infirmity which caused Him to humble Himself. No character flaws or faults made Him aware of His need to be dependent as they do with us. He chose, despite the perfection of His person, to be dependent.
No one could take His life from Him. He became dead. He was never a dying Savior. He died! The combined forces of the Roman legions, the mob that clamored for His blood, and the fiendish fury of Satan and his hosts could never have taken His life. He willingly laid down what the rest of humanity clutches desperately to retain. He gave Himself and laid down His life for His sheep.
We can only marvel and worship at the beauty of a Man Who was entirely selfless and Whose every thought and action was entirely for God and for others.
- Think of the ways in which “He became poor.” This would embrace more than material things.
- What is significant in Philippians 2:11 when it says that all will confess Him as Lord, but that it will be “to the glory of God the Father?”