Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:5-11
Sometimes I read the book of Jonah and wonder how on earth Jonah ended up as a prophet in the first place. He’s hardly what we would expect of a man of God. He’s stubborn, rebels against what God asks, tries to flee God’s presence, and doesn’t really value the lives of others. Yet somehow he still ends up brining a message of repentance to people who listen and obey. But really, how much better of a prophet would you or I be? I’ve certainly been stubborn, rebelled against what God has asked of me, and there are definitely people I would rather see receive justice than God’s mercy.
Fortunately for us, God has sent a new and better Jonah: Jesus. Whereas Jonah does all the wrong things, acts selfishly, yet somehow fulfills his mission (even though he doesn’t really want to), Philippians 2 shows us how Jesus empties himself and fulfills his mission perfectly.
Stubbornness vs. humility. Rebellion vs. willingness and obedience. Self-serving decisions vs. self-sacrifice. Reluctant for others to be saved vs. restoring the world to himself. Aren’t we glad that our savior is not like Jonah! We deserve judgment just like the people of Nineveh did, yet instead of a begrudging prophet who really hopes we receive judgment, we received grace and mercy from God in the flesh. Respond to the goodness and grace of God today by worshiping Jesus in the way that draws you closest to him. Whether that’s journaling a prayer, going on a hike, or singing a hymn, draw near to him today.
By Jessica Rust