I was in the bookstore last night. I noticed a certain book with a photo of the author across the whole front of the book, with the subtitle, “My journey of discovering what Jesus would really do.” I don’t want to put the author down, but I wondered if Jesus would really put his face on the front cover of his book.
That made me think about the humility of Jesus. Honestly, I don’t think Jesus would put his face in the front of a book if he walked earth today, or even write a book. I say that because the historical Jesus never wrote a book; He left that to His followers under the inspiration of God’s Spirit.
When I read the New Testament, I get the impression that Jesus does not exalt himself (even though he deserves exaltation) — He leaves that to others. Primarily, God the Father; secondarily , us through the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “It is my Father who glorifies me” (John 8:54b). Philippians says that because of Jesus’ humility and obedience to the Father in going to the cross, “God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven, on earth and under earth, and that every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-11). Note that as the result of God’s exaltation of Jesus as God, everyone will bow in confession of this truth. It is our duty to glorify and confess him. Christians can do this by the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus says “will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you [his disciples].” (John 16:14).
Jesus did not glorify Himself. He sought the glory of the Father and told people to do the same. In doing so, he received glory from both the Father and from people. Make no mistake; Jesus is honored as God Himself. But he has others do it. That amazes me. Jesus has every right to honor himself, but he doesn’t. He personally lived his command to us, when he said “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:12).