“And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow….”(Philippians 2:8-10)
Even servants of God can be stubborn at times. The story is told of two servants of God mightily used of God who were at odds with each other at one time. One of them sought God in prayer on the mountain side praying and asking God how he was to tackle his friend who stood in opposition to him. As he walked up the sides of a Swiss mountain, he saw two goats traversing a narrow path from opposite directions, one going uphill, the other coming down. At one point the narrow trail prevented them from passing each other. When they saw each other, they backed up and lowered their heads, as though ready to lunge. But then a wonderful thing happened. The ascending goat lay down on the path while the other stepped over his back and moved on downward. The first animal then arose and continued on his climb to the top. The servant observed that the first goat made it higher because he was willing to bend lower.
Didn’t the same happen to Jesus? Although He was God, he did not latch onto that fact, did not grasp at it, did not demand treatment according to that divine status, but humbled Himself and took the lower form of a man, willingly restricting Himself to the limitations of human flesh (though fully God and fully man) and descended to earth a totally obedient servant of His Father even to the point of death. He did not have to, but He chose to bend low to the point of giving up His life for you and me.
When He walked the earth radiating God’s holiness for all to see, men could not stand it because they could not match it, especially the religious section of society. Moreover, His perfect life was a testimony against their sinfulness. Man-the-sinner was headed for the pit of hell and like the goats in the above story, we would not let Him pass on by. Threatened by His holiness, we lowered our heads and made ready to lunge at Him – and ended up crucifying Him. Did He fight back, No, like a sheep led to the slaughter, He opened not His mouth, but instead bent low laying down His life instead on the Cross for you and me. Because He bent low, God raised Him from the dead and highly exalted Him bestowing on Him a name higher than any other name. Moreover, at that name, one day every sheep and every goat will bow its knee and proclaim to the Glory of the Father that Jesus Christ is Lord! In the Kingdom of God, the way up is the way down. Because Jesus bent low, He is raised to the highest point.
Application: Beloved, many a time we find ourselves in the midst of conflict either caused by others or which we ourselves might have caused. It is easy to get caught up in a fight like bulls and goats. But instead, follow the example of Jesus and humble yourself under the mighty hand of God so that in due time He might exalt you (1 Pet 5:6). “Let us therefore, brethren, be of humble mind, laying aside all haughtiness, and pride, and foolishness, and angry feelings; and let us act according to that which is written, for the Holy Spirit saith, let him that boasts, boast of the Lord…” [Clement of Rome]. The secret: Keep your eyes on the Lord and wait for Him, following His example! Difficult – Yes! Impossible – No! If we have really died and our lives are hid with Christ in God (Col 3:3), then we must rise above all pettiness of the flesh and let the enemy exhaust himself as we REST in Him!