Philippians 2: 6-8 says the Son "...existed in the form of God, but He did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped*, but emptied Himself, taking upon Himself the form of a person, being made like a man and finding Himself in the form of man, submitted Himself to death, even the death of the cross."
The word grasped in the above Scripture is the greek word. 'harpagmos', from the root 'harpazo' which means 'to seize and carry off by force.' Oddly, it is the same word used for the rapture of the church! It's a very violent, strong word that can mean to seize or to grip in a death grip. In other words, Jesus, who was Himself God, did not consider His Godhood something worthy to be Seized and not let go of. (For our sakes)
Imagine for a moment that you are a prince or princess, born into luxury. You live in a huge castle, opulently decorated and you dine on the finest foods. You have a closet full of the most gorgeous clothes, and servants ready to obey your every command. Everyone in the realm worships you. Surrounding your castle there are exquisite gardens where you walk and talk with your subjects and they hang on your every word. Your father the King adores you and constant celebrations are thrown in your honor. You are loved, cherished, and have enormous power at your fingertips.
And then you give it all up and become a slug. Literally a slug. One of those slimy inch-long creatures that crawls along the dirt. You have no food, no clothing, no home. You are cold, tired, and constantly
Seriously, I don't even know if this is a worthy example. I don't even know if a prince to a slug is enough of a disparity between being God in heaven and a human on earth. But hopefully you get the picture.
Can you imagine the humility, the meekness of Jesus? How many of us would go from being bowed before to being spit upon? How many of us would do this even for a friend? Maybe a family member? But a group of enemies?
When Jesus said in Matthew 11 "...learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart"*, He wasn't kidding. He was and is the most humble Man who ever walked the earth. ."Look! Your King comes to you meek and riding on a donkey, even a colt, the foal of a donkey." *Matthew 21:5
The truth is, that the more time we spend with Jesus, the more like Him we become. Which makes our own humility a good measuring stick for our Christian maturity. Are we unimpressed with the things of this world? The fancy houses, cars, clothing, status, beauty and money? Do we strive for these things, get depressed when we don't have them? Do we try and assert ourselves in conversations, needing to be heard for our own ego or do we humbly allow others center stage?
On the flip side, do we snub our noses at the lowly things of this world, the poor, the needy, people of low birth or education, the smelly homeless guy down the street?. Jesus was moved by neither. All the things of this world meant nothing to Him. All the glories of heaven meant nothing to Him when compared with His love for us!
How much more then, should be become slugs of this world, just like our Savior? How much more should we be detached from the trappings of this place and focus our eyes on the prize just like He did?
What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away. 1 Corinthians 7:30-31
The world is passing away, and with it its lusts the shameful pursuits and ungodly longings; but the one who does the will of God and carries out His purposes lives forever. 1 John 2:17
As we celebrate Christmas this year, let our prayers be filled not only with great thanksgiving toward Jesus who sacrificed everything for us, but let us also pray that we might be found more and more humble like a slug with each passing year.