Yesterday, we learned about the humbling sacrifice it took for God to come to earth, as Jesus, born a human baby in awful circumstances.
We aren’t the first to notice. We see this documented beautifully in the writing of Paul, an early Christian teacher and leader.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
(Philippians 2:5-8 ESV)
But this isn’t just about Jesus anymore. Paul says it’s about us, too. Have this mind among yourselves.
If you’ve decided to follow Jesus, his Holy Spirit resides in you, and is meant to guide and direct your life. He transforms every part of us, including our minds, and our attitudes.
That’s why Paul can say, you have a “new mind”, as it’s yours, in Christ Jesus. It’s a mind that values humility and sacrifice for others. And this isn’t just a philosophical principal. It’s what Jesus said and did, in coming to earth in the first place as a baby, with his every word and action here on earth, and his death on a cross.
As Emmanuel, God with us, he lived it out 100% in plain view, in our world. He makes no demands he didn’t make of himself. And he doesn’t leave us – after sacrificing himself so we can know God again without sin and death as barriers, he didn’t leave us. He left his HS to remain with us, even as Jesus ascended into heaven.
This is why he came in such humble circumstances – to become like the least of us, the very bottom of society – a homeless, refugee newborn with illegitimate parents. Because he intended to sacrifice himself, dying on a cross, for each and every one of us, no matter how young, poor or illegitimate we may be. He died, then rose again, so we could all rise with him to new life, again regardless of our background.
Christmas, God with us, changes us and is a prompting to humbly recognize we can’t help ourselves, and need him to be with us, to help us, to rescue us. Not just the rich and powerful, not just the ultra religious, not just a certain race, nation or gender or social group.
This is great news for all of us, even the very least of us.
- If you are small and a child, God became a tiny baby smaller than you.
- If you are helpless, God is with you.
- If you are poor, God became poor with us.
- If you are broken and sinful, God is our rescuer.
- If you are alone in this world, God is with us.
Like the shepherds, let this good news of great joy change you, and through your words and actions for others, let it bring great joy to the world.
He was all the things we explored in this series.
- Jesus as Protector and Guide (Shepherd)
- Jesus as Revolutionary
- Jesus as Teacher
- Jesus as Forgiver
- Jesus as our Foundation (Rock)
- Jesus as Priest and Sacrifice
- Jesus as Powerful
- Jesus as Prophet
- Jesus as Light
- Jesus as Friend
- Jesus as Healer
- Jesus as King
But most importantly, he was God with us. It makes all the difference.
Challenge: When do you feel distant from God? Create some tangible reminder that God is with you – like a daily reminder on your phone, or a post-it note on your desk, or a cross on your dashboard. Whatever can remind you God is with you in those moments.
Meeting with a Group? Your discussion questions are in this week’s Group Study Guide[permalink append=”#comments”]Discuss the Challenge[/permalink]