This week’s Sunday School is the final lesson of this unit of lessons and it is also the last lesson of the year.  I certainly hope that you have enjoyed all of my commentaries of the weekly lessons and will continue to come back in the new year.  This week’s lesson is going to be similar to our recent lessons.  The only difference this week is that we are going to look at the birth of Christ as Paul describes it in his letter to the Philippians, and then we will do another flash forward to the time of Jesus.  This week’s lesson is being taught from Philippians 2:5-11; John 13:12-17.

Just as Christ

Our lesson this week opens up with Paul writing to the Philippians about how they should carry themselves.  In the opening verses of this chapter, you will see Paul telling the Philippians to be like-minded in love (Phil. 2:1-2).  He writes to them to not be selfish or conceited but to have humility and love towards others (Phil. 2:3-4).

Having the humility of Christ

This leads us to the section of scripture that we will look at in our lesson from Philippians.  Paul says, “let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus (Phil. 2:5).”  So, he was telling them, and us, to be of the same mindset as Christ.  Here is where we will see Paul begin to speak of how Christ was while in the world.

The first thing that Paul points out about Christ is His divinity.  Paul writes, “[Christ], being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men (Phil. 2:6-7).”  These two verses remind me of what the apostle John said of Jesus at the start of his gospel.  John wrote about the Word at the start of his gospel, and said that the Word was with God, in the beginning, and that the Word was God (John 1:1).  

John was speaking to Jesus’ divine nature.  As we all know, Jesus is the only begotten Son of God.  God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  I make this statement because Jesus could have frowned at coming to our physical world of temporary.  Yet, Jesus did otherwise, right?  He came to our world humbly.  

How was His coming to the world done humbly?  As we know, Jesus was born a virgin’s birth and came to our world in human flesh and blood.  Paul states this same fact to the Philippians when he wrote that Jesus was found “in appearance as a man (Phil. 2:8).”  Again, as John stated in his gospel, the Word became flesh and dwelt among them (John 1:14).

Jesus further humbled Himself by being obedient.  Again, being that He was God in the flesh, He could have looked down on the laws of this world.  Yet, Paul points out that Jesus was obedient to the point of death and having to die on the cross as He was falsely accused of blasphemy.  At the snap of a finger, Jesus could have ended it all and shown the world that He was truly God, but He submitted Himself to the ‘authority’ of man.  The idea here is that we must also learn to be humble as Christ was humble.

Exalted and glorified as Christ

When we carry ourselves as Christ did, there is a reward that awaits us.  Because He was obedient, Paul states that God exalted Him (Jesus) and gave to Him a name above every name (Phil. 2:9).  Jesus now sits at the right hand of the Father with all authority given to Him (Matt. 28:18).

Because He has been exalted, Paul wrote of Jesus’ sovereignty.  He stated that at the name of Jesus, “every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:10-11).”  We often think of the judgment at the Great White throne, but if you have watched, listened, or read my sermons and teachings for a long time, then you know there is another judgment.

At the Great White Throne, we know that the unrighteous shall be judged of their unrighteousness (Rev. 20:11-15).  But what about the righteous?  Do the righteous face judgment?  Absolutely!  The righteous will go before the Judgment Seat of Christ.  Unlike the unrighteous, the judgment of the righteous will be rewarded. 

What are we going to be rewarded for?  We are going to be rewarded for our humility.  You see, humility is required for anyone to turn from their way and be obedient to the way of God.  Just as Jesus humbled Himself as was obedient to the will of the Father, we must also humble ourselves and be obedient to the way of the Lord.  Jesus spoke to this when He stated, “whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted (Matt. 23:12).”

Humble yourself

At this point, we skip in our lesson to a moment that Jesus spends with the disciples at the Feast of Passover, which took place prior to His arrest in the garden.  Again, we will see the lesson on humility continue in what Jesus tells the disciples.

As we are told in John 13:12, Jesus had just finished washing the disciple’s feet.  If you look at the scripture prior to this, you will see that Peter argued with Jesus about letting Him wash his feet.  Peter thought Jesus to be too great to wash his feet and that he was unworthy of the Son of God washing his feet.  He eventually relented in his argument when Jesus explained to him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me (John 13:8).”

When Jesus finished washing the disciples feet, He explained what He had just done for them.  Jesus said to them, “You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.   If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.  For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you (John 13:13-15).”

This was a lesson on humility.  You see, Peter and the disciples knew exactly who Jesus was (Matt. 16:16).  Again, knowing exactly who Jesus was is why Peter did not want Him to wash his feet.  Yet, Jesus desired to show them an example of humility.  Yes, Jesus was/is divine – He is God in the flesh, so, if He could lower Himself for us, we ought to do the same exact thing.  We are the children of the Lord, and we should follow in the example that He has set for us!

We see Jesus even say this Himself to the disciples.  Jesus states, “Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him (John 13:16).”  This lesson was one of a common theme that Jesus shared with the disciples.  He explained to the disciples that the world would hate them just as the world hated Him; this would happen because they aren’t greater than their/our master – Jesus Christ (John 15:18-21).

Because we are not greater than Christ, we most definitely should imitate the way in which He lived; Christ lived humbly and so should we.  Jesus ends this thought by saying to the disciples, “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them (John 13:17).”  You see, it’s not enough just to know about these sayings, we should do what Jesus has said.  If we do what Jesus said, Jesus tells us that we will/are blessed.  

So, the question that we must answer today is are we living our lives humbly as Christ did?  If your answer is no, then you should definitely change your way and live more humbly in our world.  I hope that you have enjoyed these Sunday School commentaries this year, and I hope that you will come back in 2022 as I will continue to share my commentary of the weekly lessons.  Hope all of you will have safe and happy new year!


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