“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in
very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but
made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human
likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became
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 confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Seven Woes: Matthew 23:1-39, Mark 12:38,39, Luke 20:45,46
- Jesus offers tough love when necessary. Jesus calls the Pharisees "hypocrites" (Matt.23:13), "blind guides" (Matt. 23:16), "blind fools" (Matt. 23:17), and "snakes" (Matt.23:33). He won't stand for false teaching, hypocrisy, or arrogance. When necessary, tough love must be given to those around us that are destroying what God intended for good.
- Jesus was kind and forgiving to the man who betrayed him. Jesus tells his disciples about the one who "will betray [him]" (Matt. 26:23, emphasis added). The betrayal hadn't happened yet, but Jesus knew that it would happen soon. Despite Jesus' knowledge, He was still kind to his betrayer. He gave the bread to his disciples (including the betrayer). He offered the cup to "them" (including the betrayer). I, too, should be kind and forgiving to those that have betrayed me.
- Jesus prayed when he was in distress (Matt. 26:39). He prostrated himself and prayed for God's will, despite the pain that He knew God's will entailed. I don't think any further elaboration is necessary here.
- Jesus withdrew himself to pray (Matt. 26:39, 42, 44). He separated himself from his friends so he could be in God's presence alone. No distractions. Just raw, fervent prayers from the Son to the Father. Sometimes it is necessary for us to withdraw ourselves so we can fully experience God's presence in our everyday lives and prayer lives.