The Outcast: Jesus’ Decision

The mental state of not measuring up can be consuming at times. The world we live in reminds us daily that we don’t measure up, can tell us the various ways we don’t measure up, and even remind us that we never really will. Today, it seemed fitting to be reminded that Jesus didn’t measure up either. Jesus was born into a poor family – born in a manger, a carpenter’s son.

Jesus, though He was fully God, was still human. As we reflect on Jesus’ life, it is important to read these words in Philippians and allow them to sink in.

Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself.
He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that
he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all.
When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status
of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an
incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he
lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death
and the worst kind of death at that: a crucifixion.
(Philippians 2:5-8, emphasis mine)

Jesus chose to be on the margins. He wasn’t falling in line with societal standards. Others treated him badly also, as a result of his social status (for they didn’t realize He is the Messiah). Words trickled down like:

  • “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
  • “Is that Joseph’s son?”

When we feel like we just don’t measure up, I hope we can look to Christ knowing He didn’t measure. He didn’t measure up, because honoring His Father was much more important. Some circumstances in our lives (health, etc) may be out of our control, but we choose our own attitude to it. May our “attitude be the same as Christ Jesus”(Philippians 2:5). Instead of concerning ourselves with not measure up, let us grow in His knowledge and grace!

When I realize Jesus, too, didn’t measure up to others, it is encouraging to me. Jesus didn’t want equality to others. He stayed (and stays) focused on pleasing the Father.

Reflection Questions:

  1. Do you struggle with feeling like you don’t measure up?
  2. Have you considered how Jesus didn’t measure up to the world around Him?
  3. Take time to reflect on Romans 12:1-2.

See Romans 12:1-2; John 4:34; Philippians 4:8