Insisting on one’s rights

brown jesus artwork
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Christ Jesus … humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted him … that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow … and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2, 5-11.

With my father, a local authority consultant for forests and waterways, we set out along a woodland track where normal traffic was prohibited. We soon came face to face with an enormous vehicle laden with tree trunks. The driver shouted at us: “Didn’t you see the sign?” expressing his anger in other choice expressions. My father calmly showed him his authorization. Embarrassed, the man suddenly realized that he had insulted a superior official and stuttered his apologies. Smiling, my father reversed and parked in a wider space where passing was possible. 

When Jesus was here on earth, most of His contemporaries failed to realize who He was. He could have silenced those who scorned Him by revealing his divine glory. But He had come in extreme humility. Being God, Jesus humbled Himself to become Man. As Man He lowered Himself to the point of dying on the cross. When he was insulted, He did not reply. He never insisted on His rights.

If He had produced His “visiting card”, what titles might we have read on it? “Son of God” (Luke 1, 15), “Creator of the worlds” (cf. Hebrew 1, 2), “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19, 16), “The mighty God” (Isaiah 9, 6), “Judge of the living and the dead” (Acts 10, 42).  His humility attracts us to Him. What is more, it is revealed so that we might experience it ourselves: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (v. 5).