Recent Sermons

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Monkeys and Jars

"...Who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross." - Philippians 2.6-8

Today in chapel I spoke about the necessity of humility and obedience in the life of Jesus and therefore, of the necessity of both in our own lives. Jesus humbled Himself in a way that is beyond our comprehension. He became man and died for your sin and mine. That is, Jesus the Son of God left Heaven's great glory and splendor and laid aside His omnipotence, omniscience, and so forth to be found in appearance as a man. One man did a wonderful job at illustrating this:

Do you know how animal dealers sometimes catch monkeys? ...Monkeys are greedy creatures and can be caught by a combination of curiosity, greed, and ingenuity. The animal trainers take a number of narrow-mouthed jars, place some shiny beads in them, and anchor them firmly to the ground by means of a length of rope. The monkeys come upon the jars, see the shiny beads, and immediately stick their hands through the narrow mouths to grab a fistful of beads. Because a fist is of greater diameter than the unclenched hand, it is impossible for the monkeys to withdraw their hands again. Does this mean that they drop the beads and try to figure out another way to get them? Not at all! The monkeys cling to the beads until their captors come, place them in cages, and then release them by breaking the bottles" [James Boice, Philippians: An Expositional Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 15].

We are very often like these monkeys. We cannot know the mind of Christ or true humility because we refuse to let go of the shiny objects of this world and life. No small wonder that we continue to live a joyless existence even though we may know salvation in Christ alone.