Sixth Sunday after Trinity – Thursday
He humbled Himself. – Philippians 2:8.
Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, is, from all eternity, true God with the Father and the Holy Ghost. Since the time of His conception in the womb of the virgin Mary, He also has a true human nature, which, being personally united with His divinity, possesses all the divine majesty. Thus Jesus, “being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God” (Philippians 2:6). And yet, He “made Himself of no reputation” (v. 7a). He did not make an elaborate show of His divine majesty for all to see; He waived the constant and full use of it. He “took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (v. 7b). You see this in the historical accounts recorded by the evangelists, through inspiration of the Holy Ghost. He was born a little baby, an infant. He grew up, was obedient to His parents, learned, toiled, ate, drank, slept, waked, was fatigued, became sad, and, at other times, He was glad. He also walked from one place to another. Submitting to the will of His Father, who had foreordained this, “He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (v. 8).
This humbling of Himself is what we call Jesus’ State of Humiliation, in which He remained from His conception to His burial. In this state He did not, according to His human nature, make full or constant use of the divine attributes which were communicated to His human nature. Only when He performed divine works, miracles, or when He spoke words of divine wisdom, did He allow His divine majesty to shine forth.
Why did Jesus Christ humble Himself so? Having become our Substitute, He humbled Himself in order to redeem us by His obedience to the divine Law and by His bitter suffering and death. How could He have done this if He had used His divine attributes always and fully? Continue to see Him in His deep humiliation, my dear Christian, and continue to thank Him for it with all your heart!
PRAYER – Lord Jesus Christ, divinely glorious Savior, I thank Thee that, in order to redeem me (as well as all mankind), Thou didst so exceedingly humble Thyself, as to become like me in all respects, except without sin. Kindle more and more, in my heart, an abiding faith in Thee and true love toward Thee through this blessed Gospel truth, and, finally, let me see Thy glory in the realms of eternal glory. Amen.
He veils in flesh His pow’r divine,
a servant’s form to take;
in want and lowliness must pine,
who heav’n and earth did make.
He serves that I a lord may be;
a great exchange, indeed!
Could Jesus’ love do more for me,
to help me in my need?
(Hymn 105, st. 3 and 7; TLH)