Philippians 2:3 — Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves (NIV).
I realize this verse is written to the church at Philippi and not to Jesus, but Scripture does not require anything of us that was not first required of Christ. Hebrews 4:15 declares, “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do” (NLT). It’s comforting to know Jesus has been there and done that the right way. He didn’t set a schizophrenic example for us to try and follow.
He was not jealous, proud, or preoccupied with impressing anyone. He humbly esteemed us above Himself. Yes, you read that correctly. Jesus, the Son of God, considers the lives of you, me, and all of humanity to be more valuable than His own. I know it sounds like a bunch of hogwash, but how else can you explain Him going to the cross in our place? There is no other explanation. Our lives are more precious to Christ than His own.
The New Living Translation puts it like this: “Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). There is a fine line between the humility Jesus walked in and the pride so many of us struggle with. The difference between the two sides are the thoughts we choose to think toward others, especially those who are a source of suffering to us.
Ponder this for a moment. Our sin is what separated us from God and was the reason Jesus had to suffer as He did. I’m so thankful He didn’t stop and come to His senses. He never thought we were unworthy or undeserving of His sacrifice. In fact, He thought just the opposite. Jesus saw His name on the price tag of our lives, and He didn’t think it too expensive. He paid it all. Hallelujah!
1 Peter 2:21 – For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in His steps (NLT).
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