Encouragement for your daily walk with God
You may not recognize him by his given name, but you know him: Gaius Octavius Thurinus. He worked behind the scenes to consolidate his power, and became the first Roman emperor. He later changed his name to Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus after his adopted father. Eventually, he took on the title of Augustus Caesar, promoting the notion that Caesars are divine beings, worthy of worship as gods.
He was merely a man who tried to elevate himself to divinity. What a striking contrast to Jesus who, “though He was God … did not think equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being” [Philippians 2.6-7].
That’s our Savior! Rather than thinking highly of Himself, He humbled Himself. Born in a humble manger [Luke 2.7], He would later associate with those on the lowest rung of society. Even the religious leaders took note of it and asked why He would eat with the likes of them [Mark 2.15-16]. Jesus answered His critics by saying, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” [Mark 2.17].
Do you see the irony here? Augustus was ruthless in his prideful declaration and attempt at divinity. He never got there. Not even close. Jesus, on the other hand, humbly emptied Himself and attained the name — the only divine name — by which we can be saved [Acts 4.12]. His is the example to follow.
And being found in appearance as a human being, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2.8-11