Interesting, that the one person to humble himself more than any other in the course of history is also the one person God has elevated so that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” What a strange juxtaposition, that the lowest becomes the highest, that the least becomes greatest.
There is something deep inside me that longs to be the greatest. I want to be smarter, richer, more attractive, have better kids and more friends than you. Every fiber of my being wants to be elevated, not lowered. And yet, here Jesus proves that to be greatest, one must be least. What a difficult pill to swallow! I imagine it is not enough simply to have less money, less education, fewer friends. In reality I do have less, but I strive for more. Jesus asks us to strive for more – for others, not for ourselves. Jesus wants us not only to have less, but to strive to have less – not only to be behind or below others, but actively to put others before ourselves. And, frankly, to do so with joy, for in the end, doing so cultivates joy.
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.