[This is how God showed His love among us]
Even before Jesus was born, it was prophesied that a Child, a Son, would be given. This Heavenly Prince of Peace would be born in the town of Bethlehem. The Book of Micah teaches us, that our Mighty God would come from ancient of days. (Micah 5:2) For Jesus was there in the beginning of all things. He was with God and He was God. He is the Creator of all things in Heaven and on Earth. Nothing that was created was created without Him, and everything that was created was created for Him. (John 1:1-3) This means that God Himself left Heaven.
Isaiah foretold that Jesus would be born of a virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14) nearly 600 years before Jesus was born. [Source: GTY.org] He would come from the lineage of King David (Isaiah 9:7), and the government would be on His shoulders. This means that Jesus Lordship was affirmed by God the Father Who sent Jesus into the world. (John 3:16) Even the names which Jesus would be called we’re Prophesied.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” –Isaiah 9:6
To understand why Jesus birth, life, and death is important, and what a gift to the world He truly is, we must know the story from beginning to end. (I’ll be summarizing some of this story over several posts), but the condensed version is that God sent His Son to testify to the truth, just as we who know Jesus, do also.
“You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” –John 18:37
Jesus (the Son) is equal to God the Father and the Holy Spirit, in divinity and nature. However, as a man, Jesus said that God the Father was greater than Himself. (John 14:28) Jesus also spoke that He could only speak what the Father commanded Him to say, and that He knew not the day or hour of His own return. (John 12:49, Mark 13:32) Some critics read these words to mean that Jesus was less than God or is a lesser god. However, this doesn’t work; God doesn’t share divinity. But Scripture clearly indicates that Jesus shares the Father’s divinity, and glory.
“And now, Father, glorify Me in Your presence with the glory I had with You before the world began.” –John 17:5
So how then are we to understand Jesus words in John 14:28? In His human form, Jesus was lower than God. If we read John 14:28 in context Jesus was speaking to His disciples about going away. (back to Heaven) The disciples were distressed by Jesus words so Jesus was telling them that if they loved Him (to love Him is to know Him, and to know Jesus is to know God the Father) they would be glad that He was going away. In Rockhoppin’ Penguin Parallels I wrote about how Thomas likely wasn’t the only disciple who doubted. Most, if not all of the disciples likely didn’t truly understand Jesus divinity. However, Jesus was assuring them that it was a wonderful thing for Him to go away. As John 17:5 shows us, Jesus going back to Heaven meant that He would return to the state of glory that He had with the Father before He left Heaven.
As a man, Jesus emptied Himself–meaning, that though He was equal to God the Father, He chose to take the nature of a servant (or bondservant) A bondservant is a person who voluntarily serves others. Therefore, it was in fact Jesus choice to give up His throne in Heaven to make Himself obedient to death–meaning that He made Himself obedient to God the Father’s will, even to death on a cross. (Philippians 2:6-8) He was sent by God the Father, but He also chose this destiny. It may sound as if it’s a contradiction, but it really isn’t because Jesus’ choice was obedience to the Father, just as we as believers choose to be obedient to Jesus. This is perfect unity and submission.
Why would Jesus choose this? He chose this because He came with a mission: to seek and save the lost. (Luke 19:10) As He walked the Earth He also became our example to follow and emulate. Jesus life of servitude, was a life of love; it’s the same choice that we make when we become followers of Jesus.
This is why the songs that we as believers sing echo this same submissive attitude towards Him. With our voices we sing “Empty me.” We also say things such as, “More of You and less of me,” and ”He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30) because this isn’t Just what Jesus would do, it’s what Jesus did do while He walked the Earth. For God is love and in Him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 4:8, 1 John 1:5). Let us thank God, that a Son was given.
“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 acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” —Philipians 2:9-11
“This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. –1 John 4:9-19
Lord Jesus, thank you, for choosing obedience to show us the way, the truth, and the life that we have in You. Words can’t even come close to expressing our love and gratitude, so let our actions speak louder than our words.
Photo by Gareth Harper on Unsplash (modified)