Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

He Humbled Himself
And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, (Philippians 2:8-9 NKJV)
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. (Colossians 3:12-13 NKJV)
Meekness vs Humility
The Lord was both meek and humble.  The two words are used together in Colossians 3:12-13 and while these words are often used to mean the same thing, there seems to be a difference in their meaning in the New Testament.  Some have said meekness is power under control while humility is the opposite of pride or taking the low place.   It involves the Biblical requirement to serve instead of being served.  
The Lord was considered meek when He entered Jerusalem on a donkey although many translations use the word humble  and some use lowly.  For example: Matthew 21:5 (NKJV) says, “TELL THE DAUGHTER OF ZION, ‘BEHOLD, YOUR KING IS COMING TO YOU, LOWLY, AND SITTING ON A DONKEY, A COLT, THE FOAL OF A DONKEY.’ ”  The KJV says He was meek.
The Lord is the meek One to whom we come for rest in Matthew 11:28.   Some versions say that He is gentle and lowly.  Matthew 11:29 (NKJV) Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle (meek) and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  The word gentile is translated meek in the KJV.
So the Lord is both gentile, not using the power that He had; and humble, taking the place of a servant rather than His rightful place as a KIng.  
When and How?
When did He humble Himself?  We know He did that when He washed the disciples feet the night in which He was betrayed by Judas.  We know He did that by simply becoming a man.  Hebrews 2:9 (NKJV) says, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.”  The One who created angels allowed Himself to become a lower order of creation than the angels.  He became a human.  That should take the pride out of us as a human race.  
But His real humility is seen by allowing Himself to be crucified as a common criminal.  I know that most people in prison or on death row say that they didn’t commit the crimes for which they are being punished.  But the Lord really didn’t commit any crimes.  The repentant thief said he and the other thief were getting what they deserved, but He knew the Lord was innocent.  Pilate’s wife knew the Lord was innocent.  Herod and Pilate could not find any crime committed by the Lord.  But they crucified HIm anyway.  Our verse says that He allowed it.  He humbled Himself and became obedient to death on a cross.  And He did it as a lamb being led to the slaughter, that is, without protesting and complaining.  
Followers of the Lord
I know that we who are saved are saved by our faith in what the Lord has done for us and not by our faith in what we are doing for the Lord.  We are confident we are saved because of His promises.  But as saved people we are supposed to be Christ-like.  Or at least we are supposed to become more Christ-like the longer we live.  But are we Christ-like?
How many feet have we washed?  Now I know the Lord’s command and example can be assumed to be figurative.  However, what the Lord did was literal.  Widows were helped by the assembly if they had washed the saint’s feet.  Does that mean literally (which a servant should do for a guest in that day since people wore sandals and their feet got dirty when walking) or does that mean she was hospitable?  Either way she was to serve and not be served.  
Now we don’t see evidence of new testament assemblies or of individual Christians washing each other’s feet in the Acts of the Apostles or in the Epistles.  So I don’t think washing each other’s feet is a command similar to baptism or the Lord’s Supper.  But still, what would happen if we did carry out this ceremony once in a while?  What would happen if we considered ourselves servants and not “masters” and did this for others on a regular basis in the same sense that widows were supposed to have done this?
The Lord humbled Himself to the point of death.  We are admonished to take up our crosses and follow Him.  The cross is not just the problems and disappointments and rejection in life, it is the place of death.  Paul said He was crucified with Christ.  He gave up His earthly political ambitions the day he met the Lord on the Damascus road. In what sense have we sacrificed earthly ambitions in order to serve a heavenly master?  
Do we treat others as better than ourselves or do we see ourselves as the standard by which the rest of Christianity should be judged? 
I could go on and on.  I am afraid at the end of the race, many of us are going to be greatly disappointed by the awards that the Lord gives us.  But then, at least we will be in heaven and that is comforting and special the older I get.  I may not be meek and I may not be humble but I am sure I am saved.  The Lord has proven that He takes a personal interest in me and that is humbling. 
Bruce Collins
Meditation for the week of January 15, 2023

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