The Names of God

   Jesus: His humble way to victory


"Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow..."  Philippians 2:9-11

"...when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps." 1 Peter 2:20-21

Behold Jesus, our Savior and Lord -- our Shepherd and King -- the flawless expression of God's perfect love!

Long ago, from His heavenly kingdom, Jesus saw man's broken lives, bondage to sin, desperate needs, and spiritual blindness.  He longed to free us from bondage, open our eyes, show us His way, and enable us to come to Him.  So He left His heavenly throne and entered this fallen world as a poor and helpless infant.

To save us, Jesus surrendered what humanity has always craved -- power, honor, and perfect beauty. He chose to walk our humble paths, share our painful struggles, and become our self-giving servant. He suffered shame so that we might share His triumph.

The needy, the sick, the broken and the oppressed flocked to Him. Filled with compassion, He healed them, fed them, taught them and encouraged  them -- pouring out His life and strength until His own weary physical body ached for rest and stillness.

But the strong and proud rejected Him, and His friends failed Him. Those who expected a conquering King or a mighty politician showed little interest in the simple carpenter born in a stable. Even His close friends misunderstood His words and questioned His identity.  Multitudes who heard His teaching and received His gifts ignored His call and refused to follow.  Religious leaders despised Him and plotted His death. He was betrayed and mocked, then scourged and crucified.

Jesus submitted to their cruelty and willingly gave His life.  Bleeding and dying -- tortured  by those He came to save -- He spoke a simple prayer for His tormentors, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." Luke 23:34

Nothing surprised Him!  He saw our failing hearts and He knew  what He had to do. First, He gave us His Word and showed us His way.  But His primary assignment was to carry our sins to the cross, suffer the judgment we deserve, and free us from the power of sin and Satan. Then, as He endured the agony of the cross and the inconceivable spiritual weight of our sins, our Savior cried out, "Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit." As darkness blanketed the earth, His earthly life ebbed away.  To His heart-broken followers, death seemed to reign. 

But not for long. Having conquered both death and Satan, Jesus was raised up into the heavenly places far above all rule, authority, power and dominion.  Everything in heaven and on earth would be subject to Him. And all who truly know and follow Him can rest assured that nothing will separate us from Him:

"For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:35-39

But His overcoming life is not ours to use to satisfy our own will and pleasure. The Bible compares it to a Fountain of Living Water that flows into the hearts of those who share His purpose, will and work -- those who are willing to "follow in His steps." 1 Peter 2:21-23

 Listen to the words of Jesus who walked among us, for He shows us the way of faith and surrender. By His Holy Spirit, He now enables us to follow in His steps: 

"Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do...." John 5:19-20

"I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me." John 5:30.

Those who would follow Jesus are called to serve and to suffer as He did -- always according to our Father's will.  When we walk with Him, "looking unto Jesus," God fills our lives -- these earthen vessels set aside for His holy purpose -- to overflowing.  Then the life He pours into us may flow like a spring of water to His lost and thirsty ones along the way. Hebrews 12:2

    Jesus, my Lord, how wonderful you are! I don't deserve your gracious gifts and amazing love. Yet I pray that you would purify my heart, guide my feet, and fill me to overflowing with your precious Holy Spirit. Enable me, by your grace, to look "unto Jesus" until your beautiful life transforms my soul. Cleanse and empty this earthen vessel of all that would hinder the free flow of your living water into my heart and out to your people. I love You, Jesus, my Savior and my King!

References:  Isaiah 53;  Matthew 28:18;  Mark 16:19;  Luke 1:31, 23:34; 

John 6:64-65;  2 Corinthians 3:18;  Ephesians 1:20-23;  Philippians 2:5-11,

 Hebrews 2:14-18,  4:14-16,  5:6-11 and  12:1-3.

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