The Humiliation of Christ
NOTE: The audio for this message turned out badly. The notes are availiable if you want to read them. This was the message after the Christmas cantata.
One of the songs we sang in the cantata a few minutes ago was the Poverty Carol, a song composed many years ago by a musician in Wales. It’s a song I was not familiar with until we learned it for this program.
The lyrics are:
All poor men and humble, All lame men who stumble Come haste ye, nor feel ye afraid.
For Jesus our treasure, With love past all measure, In lowly poor manger was laid.
Then haste we to show him The praises we owe him; Our service he ne'er can despise:
Whose love still is able To show us that stable Where softly in manger he lies.
The song urges the poor and the humble to come to Jesus, who himself began his human experience in poverty and humility. He was born in a stable and laid in a “poor manger.” He was content to be born into that very humble condition.
2Co 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
There is more than one variety of poverty. We may be poor and lame in a physical or a spiritual sense. Jesus conferred a blessing on those who were poor in spirit. In fact, it’s only those who recognize that they are spiritual bankrupt who turn to Christ for salvation. It’s the sick who need a physician. Jesus came to earth in humility, and those who follow Jesus must humble themselves and admit their own weakness and failure.
Jesus warmly welcomes those who join him in his humility. Self-confident, wealthy, powerful people seldom see their need for Jesus. It’s the poor, the lame, the broken who sense their need for forgiveness and restoration. The composer urges us— “haste ye, and be not afraid” to approach Jesus, because he too is humble and lowly.
Perhaps the supreme passage explaining Jesus’ humiliation is Phil 2:6-7. This passage gives us insight into what really happened when Jesus left the glories of heaven to come to earth. This is a passage rich in meaning and theology, especially regarding the nature of Christ. We may not think of it as a Christmas text, but it certainly is.
Today we’ll consider some important truths about Jesus’ humiliation in coming to earth as a baby.