Jesus, the Word, 100% God, stepped out of heaven, took on the flesh of humankind, and entered our world. With this huge step of becoming flesh, we see that Jesus willingly set aside His divine rights.
To be clear, Jesus did not suffer from any type of divine identity crisis. He was very clear on who He was and is. Yet, Jesus did not hold onto this equality with God the Father, but made Himself nothing. Literally, He emptied Himself of His divine rights to take on the form of mankind. He took on the limitations of space and time, and in some cases limitations of knowledge and power, so that He could identify with us.
Now, to follow Jesus, to experience God at work in and through us, we must also be willing to give up our ‘rights’. If we are not very, very careful, these ‘rights’ will create an actual barrier between us and Jesus. They will become a weight that holds us back. One of the greatest tragedies of Western Christianity, and especially American Christianity, is that we allow God’s blessings to hold us back from following Him.
If we look through the gospels, we see Jesus challenging people who want to follow Him to give up specific ‘rights’ or ‘blessings’. He asked them to set aside or leave behind family, occupations, homes, money, safety, security and comfort. His challenge was clear: if they decided to follow Him, it could cost them everything…but they would gain eternity with Him.
Would you accept the challenge?