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.— Philippians 2:8 Jesus manifested His greatness by taking steps down.
While the rest of the world is intent on climbing up—up the corporate ladder, up to a better slot on the flow chart, up to a better neighborhood, up to higher education, higher office—Jesus stepped down, for us.
He was God, equal with God, and He deliberately emptied Himself and came to earth in the form of a humble servant. Jesus stepped down from glory and equality with almighty God, to the cruel Roman cross, where He hung for our sins before an angry, jeering mob, despised and rejected by mankind.
That’s a big step down, from the highest height to the lowest, most humiliating death known to the world at that time, death upon the cross.
Stepping down is hard. To give up something you’ve worked hard to attain or even to let go of a position that you know isn’t right for you. Or to volunteer for a job that seems beneath your level of education or competence. But if you feel that tug of the Holy Spirit calling you to let it go, to humble yourself, let go of the ego or the need to be in charge, and step down to serve others, remember what Jesus did for us. And through obedience, you will also know great joy.
“There is, therefore, something in humility which, strangely enough, exalts the heart.”—St. Augustine 1
- Augustine, City of God, book XIV, ch. 13.