The Humility of Jesus’ Servanthood

John MacArthur

Strength for Today

“Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.”
Philippians 2:6-7

Jesus is the role model of the suffering servant.

Jesus not only gave up His divine privileges when He emptied Himself, but He also became a servant. For us, this is the next phase in His supreme example of humility. Paul’s phrase “the form of a bond-servant” can also be translated “the essence of a slave.” Christ’s servanthood was not just external—it extended to the essential, down-to-earth role of a bond-slave doing the will of His Father.

We would expect Jesus, the God-man, to be a servant only in the truest fashion. His servitude was not performed like a stage player putting on and taking off the costume of a servant. Jesus truly became a servant. He perfectly fulfilled everything Isaiah predicted about Him (52:13-14). Jesus was the Messiah who was a suffering servant.

Christ’s entire earthly ministry is the yardstick by which we can measure servanthood. As God, He owned everything; as the servant, He had to borrow everything: a place to be born, a boat in which to cross the Sea of Galilee and preach from, a donkey (itself a symbol of humility and servitude) to ride into Jerusalem for His triumphal entry, a room to celebrate His final Passover in, and a grave to be buried in.

Our Savior acknowledged His role as a servant very simply: “I am among you as the one who serves” (Luke 22:27). And it was all done with love, with consistency, with humility, without the pretense of outward form.

As we continue to look to our Lord Jesus as the role model of humility, the challenge for us is to follow His attitude and practice. Paul instructs those who would be servants of Christ, “Let love be without hypocrisy. . . . Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord” (Rom. 12:9-11).

Suggestions for Prayer:
Thank and praise the Lord that Jesus was such a humble but willing servant on your behalf.

For Further Study:
Isaiah 52:13—53:12 is known as the Suffering Servant passage. As you read it, write down the various ways it describes Jesus’ suffering. How is His humility in evidence?

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.

Advertisements

One thought on “The Humility of Jesus’ Servanthood

  1. The humility exemplified by our Jesus Christ our Saviour was perfect, however, Lordship Salvation emphasizes that visible evidence of having submitted to Christ as Lord over your life and the essential resultant works, goes hand-in-hand with trusting in Christ to be saved. Those who believe in Lordship Salvation would have serious doubts about a person who claims to believe in Christ but does not have good works evident in his life.

    However, depending on the person and his circumstances, spiritual growth sometimes occurs quickly, and other times it takes a long time for changes to become evident, and even then the changes may not be evident to everyone. The Bible clearly teaches that salvation is by faith alone, and not by means of our works. (Ephesians 2:8-9).

    The Bible also declares that a life changes after salvation (Ephesians 2:10). So it is an almost impossible balance to make. What we do know, however, is that we are not to judge someone regarding the state of his/her eternal soul (Matthew 7:1). Only God knows who are His sheep and He will mature each believer according to His perfect time table.

    At the same time, submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ is an issue of spiritual growth, not salvation . The Christian life is a process of submitting to God in increasing measure (2 Peter 1:5-8). A person does not have to submit to God in every area of his or her life in order to be saved. A person simply has to recognize that he or she is a sinner, in need of Jesus Christ for salvation, and place their trust to the fullest extent in Him (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9). All of these will only be achievable in the believer through the work of the salvific power of the Lord.

    Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:10).

    Christians absolutely should submit to Him (James 4:7). A changed life and submission to Christ’s lordship are the result of salvation, not a requirement for salvation.

    Thank you for a post worthy of thought.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s