The Main Reason
The main reason I am moving to Hilo might not be what you would think. You might think I am moving back for my dad since he is family and we are supposed to make family a priority. You might think that since my dad raised me and did so many things for me, this is the time for me to give back and help my dad in his time of need.
Those are all reasons I am moving back but they are secondary to my main reason. The main reason I’m going back to help my dad is because Jesus became flesh.
That may sound odd so let me explain. First, take a look at Philippians 2:3-11 :
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
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.
In this passage, Paul was exhorting the Philippian church to show humility for the sake of unity and for the sake of the gospel. Paul then used Jesus Christ as the ultimate example of humble service.
The Humility of Jesus
Though Jesus was equal with God the Father, possessing the same divine attributes, he took on the form of a servant. He became flesh and blood. A lowly, human form. God the Father is much greater than what is seen in a fleshly servant and Jesus had every right to remain at the level. But equality with God was not what mattered to Jesus. Obedience mattered to him and so he humbled himself.
That obedience led him to death and not only to death, but death on a cross. Paul does make a distinction between death and death on a cross. It takes more humility to be crucified and die on a cross, especially when you are Jesus, who had every ability to prevent his own death.
But death wasn’t his end. The result of Christ’s obedience was his own exaltation. He was lifted out of the grave, overcoming death and given to him was the name above all names. Christ was exalted to be Lord of all forevermore. And that’s the gospel. Our redeemer is our Lord and if you believe that, your sins can be pardoned because of his sacrifice. And God is glorified in that. Don’t miss that last part. Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. God is glorified in the gospel and it’s all made possible by Christ’s obedience and his obedience required his humility.
Giving Up Your Right
The way I relate to this is that I have every right to stay right here on Oahu. My sister asked if I would consider moving to Hilo to take care of my dad but she would totally understand if I decided to stay here because, after all, my life is here. My church, my education, my job, my friends, my family—it’s all here. I doubt anyone would think less of me if I decided to stay.
But what I see in Philippians is that showing humility and looking to the interests of others can accomplish so much more for God’s kingdom. Is going to Hilo and taking care of my dad actually going to do anything for God’s kingdom? Only time will tell but I definitely believe it’s possible. Humility is an element of the gospel so any chance we can show humility, it will help to illustrate what the gospel is and who Jesus Christ is.
However, none of it will matter if I am not diligent in obedience. Taking a plane ride to Hilo is one thing, actually laboring in humble service everyday is another thing. Dependence on God will be everything for me. I won’t be able to last unless I always remember what Jesus did. He became flesh. He came to serve. He died. All for the glory of God. The least I can do is help my wonderful dad for as long as he needs me.