Yesterday, I posted in this blog about a principle from Philippians 2. Since then, my thoughts have centered on the word “condescending.” This is due in a large part to some work done by Nic Subtirelu, a linguist at Georgia State University.
The idea behind the word “condescending” is this:
• A person with authority is abusing his/her power
• A person has an attitude of superiority in the way he/she interacts with other people.
Jesus did not think He was superior to others—He knew it; yet He willingly humbled Himself. Through His actions and attitudes, Jesus paints a stark contrast in bold strokes and with the vivid colors of humility and service.
His humility is seen in Philippians 2: “Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave.”
In a loving act of humility, Jesus “emptied” Himself. He laid aside all prestige and praise, and left the fragrance of heaven to be born in a stable thick with the pungent smell of dung.
This King of kings and Lord of lords was born, not to be served; but, to serve others. Alive in Him was the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:8-9); yet, He walked down the ladder of glory, so He could be hung up on a cross. This was no display of condescension—it was an act of redemption.
Condescending people are full of themselves, and deep down inside there is a gnawing emptiness. The redeemed are full of God, and deep within them is the knowledge Christ’s love. In which group are you?