Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. (Hebrews 5:5)
As it happens, over the last few weeks I’ve been reading through the Old Testament books of Leviticus and Numbers. One of the key themes has been the appointment, responsibilities and privileges of the High Priest in ancient Israel. The first was Moses’ brother, Aaron. The role came with exclusive access to the holiest places of the Tabernacle – the portable temple carried by Israel in their 40 year wilderness wanderings. The High priest had special and distinguishing garments. He and his extended family would have been wealthy, supported by the portion of the people’s sacrificial offerings designated by God as theirs. In a theocracy, their position was ultimate, indeed glorious – the mediator between God and the people. Jesus did not take this glory upon himself, as he could have. He received the designation as the ultimate High Priest at his Father’s command. Again we see the perfect humility of Jesus. The wonderful hymn in Philippians puts it beautifully, ‘Jesus, being in very nature God,ndid not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:6-8)
We live in a social media saturated world where it’s common place to project our ‘best selves’ to others. Humility, while often lauded, is still in short supply. I love how CS Lewis defined humility – ‘Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.’ The way of Jesus is to willingly embrace the posture of a servant; to exercise any power we have for the benefit of others. Am I doing that in the concrete actions of today?
Lord, humble me where necessary, that I might serve you as I serve others.