Divine Humbling

All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
Matthew 28:18–20, KJV

The “all power” is in such contrast to the poverty and humility He knew as the divine Son who “laid aside His glory” and “emptied Himself.” His state of vulnerability never once veered but rather culminated in the cross and His full sacrifice for our sin. And Paul says that we should imitate Christ’s humility, even that our attitude should be as His:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:6–11)

The immensity of who we worship, and who we become—real persons—sons and daughters of God by adoption into Christ, prepares us to look at the divine humbling and the incredible scriptural mandate to imitate it. [1]

In Jesus we find the ultimate Someone — so solid, so real, unswervingly entrusting Himself to His Father’s love. The gospel stirs our hearts with His dignity and faithfulness, and gives us the amazing news that we’ve been made to become like Him! We seek healing so that we can imitate Christ. His peace can ground us enough that we lay down our self-protections. His healing can integrate the divided heart so that we become servants of God’s will in this world. He gives us His life so that we can share in the glory of humility. 


Fairest Lord Jesus, thank you for showing us the way. Thank you for being the Way. Thank you for countering all the power-grabbing, prideful pictures of power with the awesome reality of Your self-giving love. Lord we want to follow You, we want to abide in You, we want to please You, but on our own we cannot. We believe our lives are hid with You in God, but help our unbelief. Set Your unbreakable trust in the Father into our hearts. Cleanse us, heal us, and raise us up that we might know more of the joy of imitating Your humility.


[1] Leanne Payne, Listening Prayer (Grand Rapids, Hamewith Books, 1994), 44.
Painting:  R. van der Weyden, 1435, Deposition [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Meditation prepared by Sarah Colyn, drawing on the writings and ministry of Leanne Payne.