Day 4 – Jesus as Servant King

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

– Philippians 2:5-8

DEVOTION

When we hear the word “king,” we usually see an image of a wealthy overlord sitting in luxury, being served by all of his underlings. He may be kind and create justice for his kingdom, he may be harsh and create great suffering, but he is always waited on hand and foot because he has the most powerful position in all the land.

 

In our modern society, we struggle to understand a much smaller separation between the rich and poor, the privileged and the underserved. In the Biblical days of the kings, from Queen Esther to King Solomon to King Herod to Caesar Augustus this separation was colossal. The most powerful in the land was sometimes kind and sometimes cruel but was always separated and surrounded by servants. And what’s more… all who served or interacted with the king knew that their life could be extinguished with one word, one whim of the king.

 

Jesus’ entrance into humanity as God and Man was Holy Otherness. He came as The Great Table Turner into a fallen world. He came not to be served, but to serve. He came defying all that the human story knows of the role of kings. And although Jesus was equal to God, he chose to humble Himself for our sake. The word used in Philippians 2:6 is that Jesus emptied himself. This doesn’t mean that he gave up his glory or stopped being God. It means that he willingly chose to take on human frailties, weaknesses, and limitations to come down to us. His first sacrifice in the redemption of mankind happened before he came to earth as a man.

 

His first sacrifice was to lay down his royal separateness and all the benefits that came with that position to live among us within our limitations and brokenness, even discovering his identity and his purpose as we discover ours – through the word, through faith, and through relationship with God. He is God. He is Man. He is the Servant King. Hallelujah.

REFLECTION

How do you experience Jesus as your King?

Do you experience him more as a Servant King or an Overlord?

Where can you meditate on him as your Servant King today?

How does the Servant King challenge your views of comfort and service of others?

Ask God to reveal the truth to you that He is a good and faithful King.

PRAYER

Father, you are a good and kind ruler. You are a king who is mighty to save! Jesus, you are the fullness of glory and the humblest of servants. How you were able to sacrifice so much, we will never fully know. Thank you for your love, mercy, humility, and grace. Thank you that yours is a Kingdom in which servants flourish, and the humble are made great. Holy Spirit, would you change our hearts and our lives to be faithful servants to King Jesus. Would our deeds of love and mercy cause others to honor you. In Jesus name, Amen.

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