DayBreaks for 12/17/12 – When Jesus Became an Ant
Philippians 2:3-8 (NLT)– Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
This is an interesting telling of the Christmas story, one that you probably won’t hear preached about much this Advent season. But it is perhaps an even more brutally honest telling of the story than the sentimentalized manger scene, animals, shepherds and singing angels.
The pastor on Sunday spoke from this passage. He talked about how he hates ants and how their house had recent been infested by the rascals. He considered preaching to them, asking them to repent for their “trespasses”, but realized it would be fruitless. He thought about telling them how forgiving he could be if they’d just stop. He thought about telling them about hell if they didn’t stop. He knew that wouldn’t do any good, either. They were crawling on his desk and he was smashing them with his thumb when he realized one that he’d smashed seem to have survived the ordeal but was writing in pain. He faced the choice of letting it suffer or ending the suffering. He chose the latter.
Then he talked about the spiritual application: God had been trying to speak to us for thousands of years, yet we didn’t stop going our own way. He tried to show His long-suffering nature, but we continued to give Him plenty of reasons to bear with us. He told about fearful judgment – but we ignored that, too.
What was God to do? If He wanted the ants (us) to understand about Him, He would have to become an ant, too. So that was what happened when Jesus emptied himself of eternal glory…and became an ant.
How would you have felt if you were given the choice of literally becoming an ant so you could communicate with them? Who among us would do so?
Yet Jesus did more than that. He became one of us (humans are even lower than ants to an infinite God – the distance in worth is far wider!). Willingly. And when he did, we ants abused him. Then we killed him.
But here’s the real shocker: he became an ant knowing we would do that to him. And therein lies the wonder of CHRISTmas.
PRAYER: How glorious you are for your self-abasing love for us! In Your name, Amen.
Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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