I’m currently reading a new book by John Eldredge entitled Beautiful Outlaw. The book is a look at the character of Jesus, which chapters on different aspects of his character.
This past week I read the chapter on Humility, which, in all honesty, was one of the best chapters of the book (in my opinion). While I’ve thought a lot about the humility of Christ and consider Philippians 2:3-8 to be one of my life goals, this chapter helped place the humility of Christ in a new perspective.
Eldredge spent the chapter focusing with laser-precision on aspects of Christ we have all heard but, I feel, never fully considered. Issues like the eternal Son of God spending nine months developing in Mary’s uterus and then passing through her birth canal. The fact that God had to learn to walk, that the one who created all the stars and could “Call them all by name” had to learn to speak, or that the one who “hung galaxies in such perfect poise…has to be shown how to nail two boards together.” (p109)
But here’s the one that made it hit home for me… Eldredge asks this question, “What about the humility of simply getting from here to there by means of walking?”
Last weekend while Melissa and Chloe were in Florida I took the car in to have the annual inspection performed, as well as my regular oil change, and so while it was in the shop Celeste and I went a-walking… We walked to Chick-fila for lunch, we walked to Target, then to Barnes and Noble, and finally to Best Buy, before walking back to the shop. All told, we walked perhaps ¾ of a mile. Now I’m not saying I was exhausted (or even tired) after it was said and done, because it wasn’t that far to walk, the point is that we had to take the time to walk when we normally would have just jumped in the car and driven. I have gotten spoiled because I can drive – Jesus, however, was used to being everywhere at all times, yet when he came to Earth as a human all of a sudden he had to be absent from locations and take time to go from point A to point B.
So now consider this… We read in John 4 that Jesus “left Judea and went back…to Galilee.” How far is that? Is it like walking from Target to Barnes and Noble? No, it’s like walking from Target to downtown New Bern AND BACK. Or what about all the times we read that Jesus went to Jerusalem? I think I thought of that kinda like “going to work”. Nope, I was wrong… Bethany (where he raised Lazarus from the dead) to Jerusalem is about 105 miles – or like walking from Greenville to the Raleigh-Durham airport!
After focusing us on some of these startling ideas, Eldredge then brings the chapter to a close by saying, “[W]hat Jesus primarily models for us is how to draw our life from the Father.”
So here’s the question for the week: If Jesus, who is God, needed to draw life from God the Father, don’t you and I need to do the same? It truly is pride that would allow us to think we could live this life on our own.