Jesus’ Humility and Exaltation

Key Verse: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”
—Philippians 2:5

Selected Scripture:
Philippians 2:5-11

TRUE HUMILITY IS THAT condition of mind or heart which causes a person to have a proper appreciation of his own worth and that of others. To the true follower of Jesus, humility includes the realization of the value and necessity of the robe of Christ’s righteousness. Such a realization requires in each of us a condition of mind which causes us to always keep our Lord in full view, and to keep “self” out of sight to the greatest extent possible. To have the mind of Christ, hence the mind of God, means that we must allow God to work within our minds and in our hearts. This, in turn, means we must be teachable, another important aspect of humility. Our Lord has invited us to “learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.” (Matt. 11:29) As a child of God, it is required that we be “of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”—I Pet. 3:4

The mind of Christ, and the humility associated with that mind, also points us toward the making of an unreserved consecration to do the will of our Heavenly Father. Such a dedication of ourselves to God, through Christ, sets in motion another all-important work—the transformation of our character from its former condition to that which befits a follower of the Master. Consider the words of Paul: “If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt; … And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” (Eph. 4:21-23) These verses sum up the work of the transformation of our character by speaking of two important features of that work. First, we are to “put off” our former walk, which was according to the flesh. Second, we are to be “renewed in the spirit,” that is, by God’s Holy Spirit working in and through our minds and hearts.

As our Lord Jesus was obedient, even unto the death of the cross, we are to be crucified with him, baptized into his death, having offered our all in consecration. “If we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him.” (II Tim. 2:11,12) The way that we do this is by following our Lord’s example in all things. He was perfect and could fully live up to the instructions that he received from the Father. The Scriptures testify that he was “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14), and that “all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. (Luke 4:22) To follow in his footsteps means that we have much to accomplish in the way of transformation of character. This is emphasized by the words, “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”—Rom. 12:2

Only a handful of those to whom Paul wrote were actually eyewitnesses of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. However, they believed and proclaimed the testimony of Paul that when Jesus was raised from the dead he was highly exalted to the right hand of God. (Eph. 1:18-23) With joy we also, accept and preach the message of Paul, declaring that ultimately “every knee should bow, … every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”—Phil. 2:10,11

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