Yesterday we considered the glory of Jesus, hopefully to help us today better see the contrast with the earthly humiliation of Jesus.
What do we mean by humiliation? What did Jesus suffer by becoming a man? Jesus suffered disgrace, loss of respect, and a lessening of his honor.
Think first about what he had in heaven. Jesus, being God, was worshipped by all the created beings that existed in heaven. Just glancing through the passages in Revelation, for example, you can see in chapters 4 and 5 how the angels, the cherubim, and the elders around the throne all bow down and worship God at the mention of his name.
Jesus is worthy of worship, specifically because of his role in creation. Rev. 4:11 states, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” He left that all behind, mildly laying that glory aside.
One hymn writer says it this way:
Lo, within a manger lies he who built the starry skies;… thus to come from highest bliss
down to such a world as this.
He left that and came to be a person, not respected, disgraced, and dishonored. People looked down on him because he was born to a woman who was unmarried. The situation of his birth, being born in a feed trough, in a stable, was not the place one would think to find God.
It didn’t get much better as he grew. He was looked down upon for being born in Nazareth and for being a carpenter’s son. The leaders of his day never respected his teaching, they were afraid of him. He lost respect by associating with the low-lifes of society.
Yet he did all this on purpose. None of us really want others to think less of us, but Jesus accepted that because he loves us. Praise him for his love and humility. Sacred Infant, all divine, what a tender love was thine, thus to come from highest bliss down to such a world as this.