The first thing that we could say that we see in the life of Jesus Christ, when He lived on this Earth, is His deep humility.
Man is basically proud. We are proud of many things. We are proud of our race, our upbringing, and our family tree, perhaps. We can be proud of our education, our good looks, our intelligence, our capabilities. We can be proud of our talents, our gifts, and our positions, maybe our house or car, influential friends or it could be anything. But when Jesus came to Earth He took the lowest place that any man could ever take. He came as a servant of everyone, even though He was God; He was God manifest in human form. That is where we see the greatness of our God.
You know we can see the greatness of God in creation. The stars, the planets, and so many wonderful things like the snowflakes, the little atoms which eye can't even see. All these things contain the wonder of God. But to the one who reads the Scriptures, to the true disciples of Jesus Christ, the greatness is not seen in these wonders of the universe. It is seen in the humility with which God came to earth in human form, emptying Himself of the privileges and powers that He had as God and identifying with our fallen race.
The Bible says, in John 1:14 that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory. That glory, we can say, was far greater than the glory seen in the creation of the sun, moon, and stars. God came and dwelt as one of us. He didn't come in a condescending, patronizing way as our benefactor, you know, showing that He is a great person. No, instead humbling Himself to be with us. He came with real humility making Himself one with us in every way. He was made like His brothers in all things. Once we see this glory of His humility, we would see that there is far greater glory in that than even in the wonderful miracles that Jesus did when He was on the earth. Here is the first area that we need to see how God wants man to live.
In the life of Jesus we have an example. God has given us an example on how God wants man to live. There was not an atom of pride in our Lord Jesus Christ. He never imposed Himself on people. He never made people dread Him as if He was somebody far superior to them. He was far superior to every single one. He was also their creator, the Almighty God. But He hid all that glory; it was all concealed in that flesh in which He came and He lived just like any other ordinary man. He would call Himself the Son of man meaning, I am just an ordinary man. There we see the greatness of God. He humbled himself. God wants man to live in humility.
In one of our earlier studies we have considered how evil came to this universe through Lucifer, the head of the angels, seeking to exult himself in pride. Because he was perfect in wisdom and beauty, Lucifer began to be proud of it. He sought to go still further up, and even exult himself above God Almighty. As soon as such a thought entered into Satan's heart, God immediately cast him down. God is always against pride, wherever He finds it. The Bible says God resists the proud. If you are a proud person, it doesn't matter what you are proud of, you will find that God is resisting you all the time.
Now the word 'resist' is the opposite of support. God does not support proud people and not only that, He resists them; He fights against them. That is why Satan was cast out. There could be no pride in heaven. When Satan was cast down and man was created, Satan decided to infect man as well with the same pride with which he was infected. And now the human race is infected with his pride.
Every child born into this world was born with this infection of pride. That is why, from that time he can do anything, he begins to fight to assert himself and seek his own. To save man from this wretched pride, to redeem man from this poison Jesus came and humbled Himself. So just like our sin originated in the pride of Lucifer, all sin originated in the pride of Lucifer. In the same way, redemption originated in the self-humbling of Jesus Christ. See these are two completely different spirits that are operating in the world. We need to understand it. There is the spirit of pride, always seeking to exult itself, push other people down, show that we are greater, and then there is the spirit of humility of Jesus always seeking to go down.
So it is very easy for you to know how much of the mind of Christ you have in your own life. Here is the answer. You have as much of the mind of Christ in you as you have of his humility. That is the infallible gauge of spiritual growth. You are growing spiritually if you are growing in humility, that is and no more than that and not when you grow in Bible knowledge. A lot of people think that spiritual growth means, 'I am growing in the knowledge of the Bible, I am growing in usefulness, I am growing in serving God here, there and everywhere.' Well, that is not really the infallible gauge. You can be mistaken. There are a lot people who are serving, and they are not really growing. They are more active, but they are not really growing spiritually. The person that is growing spiritually will always become more and more humble.
When you look at Jesus, the very fact that He came down from heaven to earth - God became man -itself would be a tremendous demonstration of humility. But He didn't stop there. When He became a man, He refused to be a King. Now, if Jesus had come from heaven and become the greatest King on earth, it would still have been humility - Because it would have been a tremendous step down from God to become a King. But the wonderful thing you see here is He went still further. He refused to be a King. We read once that when people tried to crown him He just ran away. When He became a man He humbled Himself and became a servant of everyone. He became like a slave.
He often used to tell His disciples, 'I didn't come here for you people to serve me; I came to serve you.' You know, that is how God is. God's nature is to serve, help, and bless other people. The more you have of God's nature in you, what will you do? The more you will seek to serve, and bless, and help other people. You will not seek to promote yourself, show yourself as great. Unfortunately, even among those who call themselves Christians and Christian leaders, one finds very often a spirit of self-exultation. That is so contrary to the spirit of Christ. Jesus never exulted himself. He told His disciples not to use titles. He said, 'you must be just like brothers, just like all the others'. We are here to serve one another. Jesus demonstrated by His life that a person's position, wealth, accomplishments, and family status, all have no value. It is humility alone that determines your value in God's eyes primarily.
Consider one fact. You know that you and I never had a choice as to which family we should be born into in this world. You didn't choose the family you were born into, did you? You could say it was accidental, completely beyond your choice. I was born into a family, which I never chose. You were born into a family, which you never chose. We were just born into it. We were born in a country, which we didn't choose; into circumstances we didn't choose. There was only one person born into this world that could choose and determine beforehand where He would be born, when He will be born, in which town, in which building in that town, in which family, everything. That was Jesus Christ. From heaven He could have planned His birth perfectly, the exact date, the exact time, the exact location, the exact family. And what did Jesus choose? He chooses a poor, unknown carpenter's family, in a place called Nazareth, which had a very bad reputation in Israel. I was a very poor family; Joseph was a carpenter. Not only that, Jesus was the only person who could determine where exactly He was going to be born. What place did he choose? - The stable, a lowly stable where donkeys and cows and other animals were moving around; a dirty place. This is the place he chose.
When you read in Matthew 1, you read the family line. People are proud of their family line. He chose a family line in which there was a woman called Tamar who committed adultery with her father in law. Another one in that family tree was Rahab who was a prostitute in Jericho. Another one was Ruth who was a descendant of Moab who was born as the result of incest (you read about it in Genesis 19). And one was Bathsheba who made David commit adultery. This is the line, which Jesus chose. Why did Jesus choose this type of humiliating line and a lowly place to be born? - Because He wanted to come underneath all of us to serve us. Remember dear friend, this is the nature God wants you to have, to go underneath others to serve them and bless them.