N – Jesus made Himself nothing

“He (Jesus) made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” Phil. 2:7


Just writing the title of this post made my stomach flip-flop. Many of the A-Z characteristics of God focus on how different He is from us. He is almighty, great, holy, King of kings, and our maker. But nothing?  That seems like an opposite trait of who God is.

But here’s the thing, Jesus loves us so much He willingly took on human likeness.  His created, who are so vastly different than He is, He took on our likeness?  What would that have felt like?  Set aside for a moment that He died a brutal death for us – what would it have been like just being willing to become like your created?

Would it be a fair comparison to suggest it is like you or me becoming an ant? Probably not, since I didn’t make the ant. Our human minds are so limited, I can’t even imagine what it was like for God to walk on this earth in a body He created.

What love. What humility.


I found myself irritated the other day when one of my children didn’t want to play ROOK with brand new crisp deck of cards I was planning on using. Said child was feeling sentimental – the well-worn deck smelling of sea salt and suntan lotion was all we had ever used.  It has been around the world a few times, belonging to my husband in high school.

And I chose to be irritated by this.  Seriously.

And then I read Philippians 2:5-11

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did 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!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil 2:5-11

I felt like the man in the parable who was forgiven the equivalent of billions of dollars and then he went out and demanded the guy who owed him ten bucks to pay up.

Jesus sets such a good example for us to follow.  Often I think I will be happy when my expectations are met. But I’m learning that the opposite is true. Loving others well brings me an inner peace and joy that I don’t have when I demand my way.

How about you? Do you struggle with humility too?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you, Jesus, for your humility. Lord, make me like you. I want to love well, and not getting hung up on expectations or pride.  I want to be like you, doing nothing out of selfish ambition but looking out for others interests.   Thank you that your love for me that is beyond anything I can think or imagine.  When I am offended help me remember to choose to draw on the wealth of grace and mercy you have extended to me.  In Jesus name. Amen.

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10 Comments on "N – Jesus made Himself nothing"

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Congrats for getting caught up! It is hard to post every day, but I “cheated” and wrote most (okay, all…) of mine in February and March. Now I get to have fun just checking out others’ posts! This was a great post. Humility is so hard, because its opposite, Pride, is so prevalent and really the root sin of so many others. There is a great talk on Pride from a latter-day prophet, which you might enjoy:
Keep up the good work!
Gail Park
Making Life an Art

Liz A.

Sometimes little things will irritate. Glad you found a way through it.

Barbara in Caneyhead

This, I think is the biggest struggle of the Christian life. I cannot comprehend how Jesus did it, but thank God He did!

Kelly Griffiths

Haha! I love the bit of lighthearted introspection. Jesus’ humility is mind blowing. I love Him and want to be like Him.

Arlee Bird

Humility can be so difficult for we humans to bear upon ourselves. That God chose to be humble for our sake is beyond amazing and somewhat difficult to conceive.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out