Many god's, Only One Became Our Servant

COPYRIGHT WARNING

There is a visible characteristic that is present amongst a majority of religious leaders: pride. The presence of this attribute is one of the reasons that so many people are turned off from church or religion. The pretense of many men and women who espouse religious principles, from their great arrogance, is a great obstacle for many people.

When we examine the words and manner of living for Jesus, we see something far different. Although we learn much later that He believes Himself to be God, in every area of His life in which He presents Himself to us, we see a deep and abiding sense of humility.

If there was anyone who had the right to pride, it would be God, and yet—we see that when He comes to earth to reveal Himself to us, it is with a profound presence of meekness and submissiveness to the world.

Why it is that God would even bother with us, since He has made it clear that we are so far from the glorious ideal that He created us for—is beyond our ability to understand.

There is a sense about God that causes us to feel His interest in our lives, and His desire to do something to save us. This compassion originates in who He is—not in who we are. It is not because we are so wonderful and worthy that God sent His Son into the world to save us. It is because He is so wonderful, loving, and kind, that He was compelled to act and give all that He had for us.

The prophet Zechariah presents a Messiah who is precisely the person that Jesus is; He came to earth; “lowly,” (humbly).

Zechariah 9:9e Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.

New Testament Fulfillment:

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

A Gentle Giant

It is a fact that all of the other “so-called” gods that men embrace are very prideful, arrogant, demanding, and intolerant of human frailties.

One of the most attractive qualities of Jesus is His humility. Though He is described by the Bible as the eternal God who fashioned the universe, He came to us under the most humble and destitute of conditions. The deep compassion and care that Jesus exercised in dealing with sinners; the sick, the outcast, the lost, and the broken; speak volumes for who He is.

Personally, I find that Jesus gentle and humble character identifies Him as the most incredible being the world has ever known.

Jesus voluntarily left His glory, power, and dominion behind, when He departed heaven, came to earth, and submitted His life as a payment for our sins. Jesus took upon Himself the unimaginable horrors of sin and death that should never have touched His perfect life—as the eternal God. If we were able to see what it was truly like for Jesus when He took our sins upon Himself, I think that we would be horrified. We have all become accustomed to sin and what it does to human life. Imagine Jesus, who has existed for eternity—perfect and without the stain of sin, sickness, or death. In the final hours of His life here on earth, He became something that we cannot possibly imagine. Every filthy and vile act of all mankind was poured into Jesus and He experienced our garbage for six hours.

An atheist that I had a conversation with a few years ago, told me that he does not think that it is such a big deal that Jesus died for us. In his words, “he was only on the cross for six hours.” Knowing who Jesus is; that He is the One who spoke the universe into being and has made every person who has existed on the earth, why would He do this for us?[1] We might think that we are worthy of this great sacrifice, but having spent four decades trying to understand why Jesus would die for us, I can say categorically, there is nothing in us that should have caused Jesus to suffer the horrors that He experienced. The salvation that Jesus made possible for us by suffering on the cross—when He took all of our sins, only happened because of who Jesus is. If we understood what His love really means, we would all fall to the ground and melt into a heap of tears.

Jesus allowed evil men to torture and brutalize Him; they took from this perfect man, the last remaining portion of dignity that remained. Jesus hung naked before the world as those who sneered and mocked Him—also taunted Him—to “come down from the cross,” not understanding that He had to remain there so that He could pay for the brutality they were committing against Him.[2]

Why would Jesus do this? He could do nothing else

Love and humility are the two qualities of Jesus’ character that are perfected in Him. The ability to know in advance that many of the people He was dying to save would never turn and thank Him. He cared not for His own life or reputation. He was concerned only for the debt that we owed. He poured out His life unto death and took all the suffering that we deserved; so that none of us would ever see the judgment of God for our sins.

The book of Philippians speaks of Jesus as refusing to hold on to His rights as God and all the glory that He deserved. Jesus was willing to set aside His magnificence as God, for a time, so that He might offer up His life as the full payment for all of our sins.

Philippians 2:5-8 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

Because Jesus humbled Himself and died for us on the Cross, God has highly exalted Him and given Him the name that is above all other names. When Jesus returns to the earth the second time, it will not be as a Lamb; He will be returning as a Lion. Every person will see Jesus in all of His Glory and they will be awestruck by His beauty. The knees of every person will bend and the hearts of every soul will acknowledge that Jesus is Lord and deserving of all praise and honor.

Philippians 2:9-11 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

When this day arrives, every person will stand in wonder that Jesus came the first time, in such humility. Very often, when a person meets someone who is very famous, they have such a great sense of wonder at seeing this person face to face that they don’t know what to say. Prominent people often make us feel a sense of awe and wonder.

Imagine the day when the King who created the universe, stands in our presence.

Even those who had never acknowledged Jesus as their Lord or Savior, will feel the need to fall and worship Him. There is something deep within every person that is desperate to worship. We were made for this purpose and until we fulfill this requirement of our heart, we will never be truly satisfied. In every culture and people—over the thousands of years of man’s existence, we see evidence of a desire to worship—from all over the earth. The object of our need for worship is God. If we do not know the True and Living God then we may worship just about anything. People who reject God, will worship their job, their money, their relationships, pleasure, travel, or personal possessions. The person who denies God, may often make themselves the object of their worship. Every human being worships, in one way or another. It is impossible for any of us to not exhibit this deepest of needs in our life. We all are made for something greater than ourselves. We look for worth in something that we consider worthy of our time and affections. When we find it, we pour ourselves into this object—giving it our time, attention, passions, and love.

We were made to praise and worship God. When we discover this, everything in our life changes. Many people live for decades with a feeling that there is something really important that is missing from their life. It is our need to love and worship our God that is absent in the lives of many—which causes this longing of our heart. On several occasions, when I have led a person to Jesus as their Savior, they will say to me: “This is what I have been looking for, all of my life.”

We see an example of this in the words of David:

As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. Psalms 42:2

It is the spirit of a human being that longs for God. The body and the mind may be completely preoccupied with the things of this life—while the spirit within—longs for God.

I think that any person who begins to take a serious look at Jesus—by examining the words that He has spoken; will find Him irresistible.

Isaiah continues this theme of a humble Messiah, with the prophecy of His nature that will be gentle, kind, and compassionate.

Isaiah 42:2 He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.

New Testament Fulfillment:

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Mighty, Yet Gentle

Isaiah said that the Messiah will not cry out, nor raise His voice. This is an indication that He will be of meek and humble character, gentle and not ostentatious.

The idea that the King of kings would be born to a poor family, in the most unlikely of towns; to a nation which had only a distant memory of glory, is unthinkable. Yet, these were the circumstances that God chose to announce the birth of His Son to the world. The Messiah coming “as a root out of dry ground,” speaks of the conditions of Israel during period when Jesus was born. By the time that the Romans had banished Israel’s right to rule themselves, the family and line of David were no longer princes and kings; they were beggars.

Many Bible critics claim that the story of Jesus Christ is a contrived myth made up by men in the first century. What storyteller, who desired to make his account popular, would choose the background that the writers of the New Testament chose for Jesus Christ?

Those who would read that Jesus was from Nazareth, a town hated and despised for their Roman occupation, would be repelled by this fact. Second, He was born into a poor family by supposed illegitimate circumstances. If all these things were really true, who, upon hearing this story, would ever be willing to receive Jesus? It was the purpose of God to choose these humble beginnings, to bring about the arrival of His Son.

What if God, wanting to show the world that He was accessible to even the most destitute and forgotten person, chose these conditions for the birth of His Son; for the purpose of allowing the greatest percentage of the population—who were poor—the ability to identify with this Savior? If Jesus was born into lavish luxury, those who are among the world’s poor would not likely—be comfortable coming to Him.

For many, it is Jesus’ humility, gentleness, and overwhelming love, that draws people to Him. The religious leaders of Jerusalem were very prideful men, who treated people as their servants. Jesus spoke to people as if He genuinely cared for them. His words and commanding presence, disarmed even the most obstinate and callous. Jesus led by serving. All that He had, He gave; until there was nothing left.

Instead of heaping burdens on His followers as all other religious leaders had done, Jesus was set upon lightening or removing the loads that people carry.

Isaiah writes once more; the Messiah will be a Servant to all making—from His birth.

Isaiah 49:5 “And now the LORD says, Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant…

New Testament Fulfillment:

John 17:4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.

When God Became Our Servant

It is a paradox of the Bible that the One who spoke the universe into existence would be willing to come to earth and lay down His life for us.

The character of Jesus as a servant sets Him apart from every other person who has claimed to be a religious or spiritual leader. In Greek mythology, it is inconceivable that Zeus, Apollo, or any other Greek god would lower himself to be a servant of the beings they created. Jesus is described by the Bible as the Creator of all things, yet He came to earth and took the body of a man so that He could offer up that body as a sacrifice for the sins of all men. The humiliation, the mental and physical torture and unimaginable horrors that Jesus experienced while completing the process of our salvation, is beyond comprehension.

It is nearly impossible for any man to make himself the servant of another man—in complete humility and sincerity. There is a flawed character in fallen man that is constantly seeking to be exalted and magnified above other men. The Biblical example of leadership in which the New Testament espouses, uses the example of Jesus Christ as a basis for what a servant of God should exemplify.

To become a true servant of others is the highest form of leadership—which the Old Testament prophecies ascribe to the Messiah’s purpose. Although Jesus is portrayed as God Himself and the creator of all that exists, He offers Himself as a servant to the creation that He made.

There is no other man who has displayed this character of true humility, in submission to others—as a servant—more than Jesus Christ. He did this not only to set an example for us to follow, but also to bring much glory to the Father. In doing this and by allowing it to happen, Jesus has proven His unique qualifications to be the one true judge and ruler of all men in the kingdom of God, that is to come.

Let us consider for a moment, what kind of story we are reading. If the writers; some 40 in all, were seeking to construct a story that would be widely received by many millions of people; would the choose a primary character who is completely submissive the those who seek His harm? What Hollywood movie has ever had such a character? We notice that in every successful human story, the primary character subdues and destroys all of his enemies. Not Jesus, He is completely willing to allow evil men to beat Him beyond recognition, nail Him to a Roman cross, and mock Him until He breathes His last breath.

Critics claim that the Bible is full of myth’s about a Nazarene-Carpenter who never existed. Really! Who would write such a tale?

Jesus said: The Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many…

Matthew 20:25-28 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Does this narrative contain a story-line that the masses would flock to? Only those who were of a certain propensity towards their own destitute state of life, would ever be drawn to Jesus. His humility, desire to serve, and ability to love people—even when He is being brutalized, is only attractive to a very narrow range of the human population.

If Jesus had come as a great and mighty, conquering hero—subduing nations, fighting great kings and governments of men—reigning victorious as a ruler supreme; then many, many, people would be attracted to Him. Not this poor, beaten, and meek Carpenter from the despised town of Nazareth.

Jesus came and showed us what leadership is all about. He came and gave all that He had. He loved and served all humanity and left us with a stunning example to follow.

Anyone who sincerely seeks to be a Christian leader must be willing to be a servant leader, as Jesus became one, for us. Jesus’ greatness and uniqueness among all others, is exemplified by His example as a genuine servant—in the purest sense of the word. Jesus came to lay down His life as a sacrifice for sins that He did not commit. There is no greater example of love in serving someone than to be willing to die for those who are the objects of your love.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

The example that Jesus set as a true, humble, servant of God, is exemplified in the manner in which He submitted His life to God for the benefit of all men. Though He is Himself God, Jesus set aside some of His glory, power, omniscience, rights and privileges—to lay down His life as a sacrifice for us.

Some have concluded that because Jesus submitted Himself to God, calling Him “My Father” and “My God,” He was stating that He is not God Himself. This is of course absurd, as the prophecies of the Old Testament are clear that when the Messiah came to earth, He would be God and offer His life as a servant.

Isaiah continues these theme of a Messiah, who is a humble Servant, as He submits Himself to God for man’s salvation.

Isaiah 53:11b He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.

New Testament Fulfillment:

Philippians 2:5-8 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

Romans 5:18-19 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

A confusing aspect of Jesus’ Sacrifice for many people was His submission to the Father as a servant. Although Jesus is spoken of as equal to God in every regard—when He came to earth as the Messiah, He set aside some of His rights as God to become the servant, that Isaiah 53 describes.

At no time did Jesus ever cease to be God while He was here on earth, while in the form of a man. He did, however, choose to make Himself of “no reputation and take the form of a servant” for our benefit.

This is stunning when we consider who Jesus had been prior to His appearance on earth as our Savior. The Bible describes Jesus as the second member of the Godhead who is responsible for the existence of the universe (Colossians 1:16-17). Jesus had no beginning; and He is the one to whom all glory, honor, power, and dominion are ascribed to by the Bible. Coming in the form of a servant was not what Israel expected, and it is often a place of stumbling for many Jews today.

Jesus chose not to make His arrival on earth by great ostentation and opulence. By coming as the poorest among the poor, He could make Himself accessible to all people. By His example of humility, He showed us the correct example of how we should serve each other.

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NOTES
[1] God has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; Hebrews 1:2
By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. Hebrews 11:3
[2] Matthew 27:40 and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”
Matthew 27:42 “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him.
Mark 15:30 save Yourself, and come down from the cross!”