June 24 I Friday
“So Jesus said, ‘When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He and that I do nothing on My own but speak just what the Father has taught Me.’”
No other verse in all the Bible describes humility better than Philippians 2:6-7, where Paul writes of Jesus, “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” Paul uses this verse to explain that Jesus, who was in the very nature God, made Himself nothing by becoming a real man.
When Paul wrote, “He made Himself nothing,” he was not belittling the value or dignity of human beings because the Bible is clear that every human being has incredible value. When Jesus is described as being nothing, it is in terms of His ability. To live as a real man, Jesus recognized His absolute and total dependency on His Father. As Jesus Himself said, “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does” (John 5:19). We see in this verse that in Himself, by Himself and from Himself, Jesus as a man was capable of nothing but lived in total dependency on the Father.
Although we are not divine or God, we are created and intended to live as Jesus lived when God clothed Him in humanity. Jesus says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). This is encouraging, because all God expects of us—left to our own natural resources and natural strength—is nothing. What a marvelous thing! Just as Jesus lived in dependence on His Father while He was a human and allowed the Father to work through Him, we can also live in dependence on the Father and by His enabling.
We all have abilities, gifts and talents that we can exercise, but as far as God is concerned, they accomplish nothing when done in our own strength. We can relax when we serve God and seek to live the life that He wants us to live because we are learning to rest in His strength, His ability and His enabling. Our ability to do nothing does not diminish our worth; instead, it reminds us of our dependence on the One who is able, just as Christ did when He took on human form.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, apart from You, I am nothing. You are the vine enabling me—thank You that I can depend on You for all my needs.