The humble king

The Bible study should, like a good meal, be tasted and enjoyed. Can you imagine how boring life would be if we just ate food to stay alive and eat our food just because we need to feed our body a nutritious diet? It would be crazy if we did not slow down a bit to enjoy the culinary delights. Let the taste of every single bite unfold and let the fragrances rise in the nose. I've already talked about the precious trinkets of knowledge and wisdom that can be found throughout the text of the Bible. They ultimately express the nature and love of God. In order to find these gems, we must learn to slow down and digest Bible texts, such as a good meal, leisurely. Every single word should be internalized and chewed again so that it leads us to what it is about. A few days ago, I read Paul's lines, in which he says that God humbled himself and took the form of a human being (Phil 2,6-8). How quickly do you read past these lines without fully understanding them or understanding the implications.

Powered by love

Stop for a moment and think about it. The creator of the whole universe, who created the sun, the moon, the stars, the whole universe, disempowered himself from his power and beauty and became a man of flesh and blood. However, he did not become a grown man, but a helpless child who relied entirely on his parents. He did it out of love for you and me. Christ our Lord, the greatest of all missionaries, laid bare the beauties of the heavens to bear witness to the good news on earth, perfecting the plan of salvation and repentance through his ultimate act of love. The son, beloved by the father, counted the riches of heaven as insignificant and degraded himself when he was born as a baby in the small town of Bethlehem. One would think that God chose a palace or the center of civilization for his own birth, right? At that time Bethlehem was neither adorned with palaces nor the center of the civilized world. It was politically and socially, very insignificant.

But a prophecy from Micah 5,1 says, "And you, Bethlehem Efrata, who are small among the cities of Judah, out of you shall come to me, who is master in Israel, whose end has been from the beginning and from everlasting."

The child of God was not born in a village, but even in a barn. Many scholars believe that this barn was probably a small back room steeped in the smell and sounds of a cattle shed. God did not have a very pompous appearance when he first appeared on earth. The trumpet sounds announcing a king were replaced by the bleating of the sheep and donkey shouting.

This humble king grew up in insignificance and never took glory and honor on himself, but always referred to the father. Only in the twelfth chapter of the Gospel of John does he say that the time has come for him to be worshiped, and so he rode on a donkey in Jerusalem. Jesus is recognized as who he is: the king of kings. Palm branches are spread out before his path and the prophecy is fulfilled. It will be Hosanna! sung and he does not ride on a white horse with flowing mane, but on a not even fully grown donkey. He rides his feet in the dirt on a young donkey foal into the city.

In Philippians 2,8 is spoken of his last act of humiliation:
"He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on the cross." He has conquered sin, not the Roman Empire. Jesus did not live up to the expectations the Israelites set for a Messiah. He did not come to defeat the Roman Empire, as many hoped, and he did not come to establish an earthly kingdom and increase his people. He was born a baby in an inconspicuous city and lived with the sick and sinners. He avoided standing in the limelight. He rode on a donkey in Jerusalem. Although heaven was his throne and the earth was his stool, he did not exalt himself because his only motivation was his love for you and me.

He established his kingdom, which he had longed for since the creation of the world. He did not defeat Roman rule or any other temporal powers, but the sin that kept mankind captive for so long. He rules over the hearts of believers. God did all this and at the same time taught all of us an important lesson in selfless love by revealing His true nature to us. After Jesus humbled himself, God "raised him and gave him the name that is above all names" (Phil 2,9).

We are already looking forward to His return, which will not take place in an inconspicuous little village, but in honor, power and glory visible to all humanity. This time he will ride a white horse and take his rightful rule over the people and the whole creation.

by Tim Maguire

pdfThe humble king