Mar 22, 2016 Words of Grace – His Laying Aside
Tuesday – His Laying Aside
“ he made himself nothing ” Philippians 2:7
We know someone’s commitment to a purpose or a cause by what he or she is willing to give up for it.
Philippians 2 shows us that the Son of God was totally committed to the purpose of saving sinners because he “made himself nothing.” Other Bible translations say he “emptied himself.” This means that he gave up something. He laid something aside.
John 13 gives us the account of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet the night before he died. I’ve often wondered about the detailed description of this event. Each action of Jesus is supplied. He rose from supper, he laid aside his outer garments, he took up a towel and wrapped it around his waist, he poured water into a basin, he washed their feet, and he wiped them with the towel.
John must have a reason for telling us each step Jesus took at this foot washing. I believe we are supposed to consider each step in light of the actions Christ took to secure our salvation.
See it in your mind’s eye. Jesus rose from supper and laid aside his outer garment. At that moment he was committing himself to wash their feet. Why else would he have shed his garment? He’s “all in” at this point.
The Son of God, in committing himself to accomplish our salvation on the cross, “made himself nothing.” He let go of and laid aside his heavenly glory and the privileges he enjoyed as God the Son. He was committed to the purpose of bringing glory to God by showing grace to sinners.
After washing the disciples’ feet, Jesus put back on his outer garment and resumed his place at the table. After the cross he took back up his glory and ascended back into heaven. But only after he accomplished the purpose of saving a people out of the world for God.
Today as you consider Jesus, can you think of other times recorded in the Gospels when he laid aside the glory that was his in heaven in order to accomplish his purpose on earth?
Read Philippians 2:7 and John 13:4. What observations and applications do you draw from the “laying aside” of Jesus?