Supreme Humility, Supreme Exaltation

Supreme Humility, Supreme Exaltation

Philippians 2:8-9

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name

What did it mean for Jesus to humble himself? We must simply admit that this is beyond us.

The Lord of Glory Entered Creation

Of course it was humbling for the Lord of glory, who created all things,1 to become part of the creation. He became “for a little while lower than the angels”2and lived 30 years unrecognized by anyone except very few. We know that “not even his brothers believed in him.”3

More than that, he lived without sin4 in a sin-filled world. If Lot was distressed by what he witnessed in Sodom,5 imagine what it was like to be the pure Son of God living in a world governed by the Evil One.6 No wonder he was a man of sorrows.7

He Was Rejected by Men

More than that, when he came out publicly, he was “despised and rejected by men” 8 —by his own people.9 Even his closest followers him did not really understand his mission,10 and when his hour came, one betrayed him,11 another denied him,12 and all abandoned him.13

But this was not the depth of his humbling.

He Became Sin for Us

The supremely humbling moment was when Jesus, who knew no sin, was made to be sin for us.14 This Holy One, who had only done what was pleasing to the Father,15 took upon himself all our unholy sin and bore the full brunt of the Father’s wrathful displeasure that should have fallen on us.16

Mercifully, we will never know by experience what it cost Jesus to humble himself in this way. But being preeminent in all things17, he showed himself supremely humble. And supremely humbling himself under his Father’s mighty hand, we will all rejoice in the righteous glory of the Father exalting his Son above all others.18

1 Colossians 1:16

2 Hebrews 2:9

3 John 7:4

4 Hebrews 4:15

51 Peter 2:7

61 John 5:19

7Isaiah 53:3

8Isaiah 53:3

9 John 1:11

10Luke 9:45

11Luke 6:16

12Mark 14:72

13Matthew 26:56

142 Corinthians 5:21

15John 8:29

16Romans 5:9

17Colossians 1:18

181 Peter 5:6

Jon Bloom (@Bloom_Jon) is the author of Not by Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith and serves as the President of Desiring God, which he and John Piper launched together in 1994. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Pam, their five children, and one naughty dog.