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What If Jesus Had Taken it Personally?

November 13, 2011

“Have this mind among yourselves which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-8)

I ended my last post with the question, what if Jesus had taken it personally? I’ve been meditating on that ever since.

Taken what personally?

The Bible tells us Jesus blessed people –healing the spiritually and the physically sick, feeding the spiritually and physically hungry, raising the spiritually and the physically dead — wherever they found him, day and night, seven days a week (even on the Sabbath).

Surely Jesus deserved a good night’s sleep, the chance to use the bathroom alone, some understanding friends, a bit of uninterrupted quiet time with his Father.

Yet Jesus was persecuted for doing everything in his power to bless others.

If Jesus had taken it personally, he might have avoided the cross.

If Jesus had taken it personally, a dozen men would have patted him on the back and said, “Smart man! You deserve better than pain in return for all you’ve given them!”

But Jesus did not take it personally.

Fully aware of the toll it would take on his humanity, Jesus disregarded the warnings that blessing people was dangerous.

Jesus suffered and died for us: people who are far more impaired by sin than my daughter is by alcohol exposure. And because he did (the “Therefore…” in Philippians 2:9 above) every person on the planet will acknowledge Jesus as Lord –even those who do not choose to follow him –to the glory of God the Father.

Or, as Jesus said in this morning’s sermon text:

“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves this life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also.” (John 12:23-26a.)

“Have this mind among yourselves which is yours in Christ Jesus…”

…that on days I most hate the compounding effects my own selfish, sin-nature has on the FASD in my family, the days I feel persecuted instead of loved, I am simply experiencing dying:  my grain of wheat being pressed into the damp, cold earth under the loving weight of God.

Jesus felt it, too. But he didn’t take it personally. Jesus submitted, “becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:8)

Because Jesus did not take it personally, whatever we experience here on earth is not the last word, even on the days it feels like the last straw.

There’s glory ahead. God promised it and Jesus died to obtain it for us.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 15, 2011 3:38 am

    I love your reminder about not taking our child’s behavior personally. I have some maturing to do in this area! I also am wondering where you are at with medication for Hope? E-mail me when you have a moment:-)

  2. November 16, 2011 9:44 am


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