The Majesty of Jesus and the Humility of Jesus
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The Majesty of Jesus and the Humility of Jesus
When we believe in God, in Jesus Christ, it is important that we understand who He Is, what He Is like.
We read from Philippians 2:5-11.
5In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very natureaGod,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
I am not so fond of speaking about myself, but as an introduction I would like to say a few words from my own walk with Jesus.
I have a few times in my life been given the grace to come very close to Jesus, so close that I would feel: I know the very heart of Jesus! It is a wonderful experience, and I am of course not alone with this experience and for some of you it might seem as the most natural thing in the world, but for me, these encounters with Jesus have been life changing and very amazing. You will never be the same after meeting Jesus. It is not because there is anything special about me, but it is a great grace that has been given to me a few times, and I thank God for it and every time I think about them, there is something in my heart that can sense Heaven.
On these occasions I have come so close to Jesus that I could say: I know Jesus! I know who He Is. I know His Heart. I know His very being! To some extent we have all experienced that when we are born again, but I believe that we all can agree that the presence of Jesus in our daily walk is not always the same. Sometimes we feel that He is very close, sometimes we wonder where He is. At least that is my experience.
In the Bible the word “know” is a synonym to “love”. The greatest longing in our hearts, as believers in Christ, is to get to know Jesus. To begin to understand Who He Is.
In 1st John 3:2 it is written: But we know that when Christ appears,awe shall be like him, for we shall see him as He is.
We want to get to know His character, His personality, and we want to know Him fully, all the different sides of His personality. We want to see Him as He Is.
We all have different sides to our personality. I love my mother and father and I know them. I know how they will react upon different things and situations. I know that in advance because I know them and love them.
A sign that indicates that we love a person is that we want to get to know the other person. We want to come closer. A marriage is hopefully like that. It is two people who want to share their lives, they want to be close to each other and they want to get to know each other. There is a mutual interest in drawing closer to each other, to know each other deeply. That is a sign of love.
If we love Jesus, we want to be close to Him. We want to know Him. And we want to know all sides of His personality. In the Western World today we too often only speak about the love of Christ and the grace of God.
And that is true. God is a God of love. But He has other sides also. He is also Holy. He is the Savior of the world, but one day He will also judge the world in righteousness. He will judge fairly. Jesus is a Savior, a God full of love, but He Is also a Holy Judge. We should try to get to know Jesus in full, all sides of His personality, not just one side of it.
Today I will speak about two things about Jesus that have made a great impression and that fascinate me. The Word of God tells us what God is like, manifested through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and we must build upon the Word of God. But when we get closer to Jesus we also get an experience, and the Words get a deeper meaning, they become alive and true. We then get a personal experience, but it must of course be according to the Scriptures. An experience that is not in line with the Scriptures must be rejected, no matter how strong it was.
Two things that strike me is the Majesty of Jesus, and the Humility of Jesus. There is no person in or outside the universe that is more majestic than Jesus Christ. When the Son of God comes, the Holy One of Israel, there is a Majesty in the air. The first thing you want to do is bow your knees. You melt down as a person and you often become speechless in His presence when He is close. You just stand there in awe, in amazement. I believe that one of the first things that strikes us is the Majesty of Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the Ruler of the Universe. He is seated on the right hand side of God the Father and is given all power on earth and in Heaven. There is a Majesty about Jesus because He is a King. Not only is He a King, He Is the King of Kings.
As a person Jesus is Majestic, royal, full of dignity and glory, but at the same time so humble, so tender, so gentle, so caring, so compassionate. It seems like a contradiction, like two opposites, but it is not, they complement each other.
If we look at mighty men of this world, presidents and kings, they might have some kind of Majesty, but they often lack humility, and use big, strong and boasting words. Jesus is far, far more powerful than they are. If Jesus wanted to, He could just breath upon them, and they and their armies would vanish. But Jesus, being so powerful, is still humility itself. He speaks small, silent and soft words full of love and compassion. He is Almighty, but it doesn’t make Him proud, it doesn’t make Him boast.
Where the Master from Nazareth, Jesus, comes walking, where His mantel or cloak is like a tow behind Him, you sense and you feel you meet with Someone who is so wonderful and majestic that you just want to fall down on your knees and worship Him.
As humans we just stand there in awe. We become speechless before Him. The sense of the incredible Majesty of Jesus and our nothingness is made so strong that we stand in amazement, wonderment and enthusiasm by the very person of Jesus.
But still Jesus is so humble, tender, long suffering. The person who in his need and helplessness and comes to Jesus, that person Jesus will lift up and carry in His Arms. He is not a hard Master, not a King without mercy and compassion. No, He Is full of grace and truth.
Jesus, the Lord God Himself, came to earth as a servant. He bowed down and washed the feet of His disciples the very same night He would be abandoned, betrayed and denied by His beloved disciples, and delivered to His enemies. He washed even the feet of Judas, he who betrayed Him. It is an incredible humility that God, the Creator of all things, comes to man as a servant and to suffer from the beating, mocking and betrayal of men.
Think for a while about the tremendous humility that this speaks about. All Jesus had to do was to speak a word, and the Father would have sent legions of angels and the enemies of Christ would have fallen to the ground in an instant.
But Jesus didn’t act that way. It is an amazing humility with Jesus Christ that makes this possible. And it is also His love. If Jesus had eradicated His enemies, all hope for Eternity for you and me would be gone. And for all people. It was the humility of Jesus and His love that kept His Hand back. This combination: the Majesty and Humility of Jesus makes Him all so more wonderful, amazing and also attractive to me.
My favourite film about Jesus is called ”The Bible”. There is a scene there where Jesus walk salong the shore of Genesareth, while a voice is reading a prophecy about the Son of Man from Daniel. Jesus walks in simple, plain clothing, in sandals, a sign in the Middle East of Humility, the sign of a servant. Everything about Him is breathing Majesty, power, a deep sense that He is God, but there is also a deep humility. That scene is for me a great picture of Jesus.
The Majesty of Jesus makes us want to just gasp, to stand idle or even take a step back or fall down on our knees, and that is because of the sense of the Holiness God and also the realization of our own fallen nature. That makes us want to stand back. But the humility of Jesus, His grace, tenderness and gentleness raises us up again, and He speaks to us kind words. I Am your God. I am your Friend. I Am your Helper. He draws us to Himself.
When people in the Bible meet Jesus they often react by falling to the ground, as if they were dead. This is also the case for the disciples of Jesus or His prophets. When the prophet Isaiah sees the Lord God in His Majesty in Isaiah 6, he is so terrified that he cries out: woe unto me, I am ruined, for I have unclean lips. The Holiness of God makes us tremble and realize our sinfulness and unworthiness. But we don’t bow down in blind submission, full of fear, like in some religions, but as a small child before a loving Father. The power of Jesus is found in His grace and mercy.
Even if we belong to Him, the Majesty of Jesus is so overwhelming, so powerful, that we just want to fall to the ground, and that was also the case for the disciples and apostles of Jesus Christ. In Revelations 1:17 we read:
17When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.
We see here that even the apostle John fell down as if he was dead when he saw the Son of Man, the Lord Jesus Christ, appear to him in His glory and Majesty. And that was in spite of the fact that he had walked with Him for three years on earth, and then followed Him for many, many years after Jesus had been taken up to Heaven, through the Holy Spirit of Jesus. He had believed, loved, followed Jesus for so many, many years, but when Jesus appears to him in His Majesty on the isle of Patmos, John is more or less crushed. That is how Majestic Our God, the Lord Jesus Christ is. We should never forget that.
The Lord God is in Jewish faith called “Jahve”, which means “I Am”. It is the most Holy Name of God in Jewish faith and is considered so holy that if, at the time of Jesus, anyone who said it aloud would be stoned to death.
As Christians we have a lot to learn from the Jews, but most of all we can learn from them that God is Holy. It is actually the side of the character of God which is mentioned most frequently in the Bible. In the Church of Jesus Christ in Sweden today we talk about God as if He was first, foremost and sometimes only love. But that is not what the Bible says. It says that God is first and foremost Holy.
In the Western World of today, not only in the society but also in the church, we are beginning to loose that sense of awe and amazement before the Majesty, Glory, Honor and Might of God. If you have a sense of the Holiness of God, the so called laughter revival is hard to understand as an manifestation and expression of a Holy God. That is sometimes found in the so called charismatic part of the church.
I hope that we don’t throw stones at each other until death today, but still, He is a Holy God, and we should never forget it, because if we do, it does more harm to us, than to God. We must have a desire to know Him the way He truly Is, and that is knowing and remembering that He is Holy.
The Name “Jahve” means I Am, and that was also the Name that the Lord Jesus used of Himself most frequently in the Gospel of John. When the temple guards came to arrest Jesus in Gethsemane, Jesus asked: who is it you want? Jesus of Nazareth, they replied. Then Jesus said: I Am He, or “I Am”. Then the temple guards drew back and fell to the ground.
When God Himself speaks His Name, “I Am”, then man draws back and fall to the ground, because that is how immense the glory and strength of God is.
Something that is lacking in Sweden and the Western World today is fear of God and humility, and I believe it is because we are loosing the knowledge that God is Holy. We preach so much about the love of Christ, so we forget that He is Holy. We should never loose that sense of awe, that sense of the Majesty of Jesus, no matter how long we walk with Him.
On the contrary, the longer we walk with Him and get to know Him, the more our hearts should be filled with awe, reverence and a certain degree of respect. Jesus Christ is not just who so ever, He is the Lord God, the Creator of all things, He is the Almighty God and King.
In the beginning I read Philippians 2:4-11.
These words by the apostle Paul speak both about the Humility and the Majesty of Jesus Christ.
Jesus is God, but He humbled Himself, became a man, came to earth and went to a cross, to pay the price for our sins, for our transgressions. Not His, but ours. He didn’t have to, He chose to. He endured ridicule, spitting, bruising, beating and the cross and did not open His mouth to defend Himself. That is humility, humility and more humility.
But Paul says that BECAUSE He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, therefore God has exalted Him above all other Names, above all created things. Jesus humbled Himself, and therefore was He also exalted.
As followers of Christ we are to be made more and more Christ like, and if He is humble, so should also we be. One great woman of God said that there are three rules for growing in Christ: humility, humility and more humility. I believe that she is right. God can only use a humble person.
We speak too little about this tremendous humility of Jesus in the Christianity of today in the West. Instead we speak a lot about becoming big, strong, successful and getting authority for yourself. But Jesus was not like that, and we should try to be like Our Lord.
Jesus went from humility to exaltation. God the Father has given Jesus the Name above all other names. All other names will vanish.
But the Name of Jesus will remain. Two thousand years after His crucifixion most of the world still counts the years after Christ. And many still discuss: who was He? Very few ask the question: who was Socrates? Who was Buddha? Who was Mohammed? But very, very many people still ask the same question: who is Jesus? Is He the Son of God, which He claimed to be, or is He not?
That question is still very much alive and will be until the Day that Jesus returns.
I don’t know when Jesus returns, but one thing is absolutely certain. One day the Heavens will be open, and Jesus Christ Himself will come down with all His angels and His saints and servants, like Paul, Moses and Elijah. That day the Heavens will be open and Jesus will be riding on a white horse. I believe that.
And on that Day, Jesus will come in all His Glory, Power and Honor. The first time He came in humility, His full glory hidden, but this time He will come in His Tremendous Glory. On that Day, the question if Jesus is the Son of God or not will die away in an instant, because it will be clearly reveled and obvious to everyone.
That Day, every single person will sense and understand that Jesus is truly humble, and everyone will feel that Jesus has loved them with an incredible, passionate and eternal love. Everyone will understand that Jesus died for them on a cross, but some too late.
But on that Day, we will also see the Majesty of Jesus. His overwhelming Glory will make us all fall down on our knees and confess with our tongues that Jesus Christ is The Lord to the glory of God the Father.
The knees of the enemies of Jesus will bend by force, since they did not want to bend them by free will here in time. But the knees of the followers of Jesus will bend by free will, easily, and with a deep, inner joy over the fact that the King has returned to deliver His people.
That Day, I believe, is not too far away. I don’t know when, but Jesus is coming back soon. On that Day we will first and foremost see and experience the Majesty of Jesus. Amen.