And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself; and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross. Phil. 2:8.
Did the world help on the humiliation of Christ by their base and vile usage of him? Learn hence that the judgement the world gives of persons, and their worth, is little to be regarded. Surely it dispenses its smiles and honors very unduly, in this respect, among others, the saints are styled persons, “of whom the world is not worthy” Heb. 11: 38. It was the complaint of Salvian, above eleven hundred years ago? “if any of the nobility (saith he) do but begin to turn to God, presently he loses the honor of nobility! O in how little honor is Christ among Christian people, when religion shall make a man ignoble! So that (as he adds) many are compelled to be evil, lest they should be esteemed vile.” And indeed, if the world gives us any help to discover the true worth and excellency of men by, it is by the rule of contraries, for the most part. Where it fixes its marks of hatred, we may usually find that which invites our respect and love. It should trouble us the less to be under the slights and disrespects of a blind world. “I could be even proud upon it, (saith Luther) that I see I have an ill name from the world.” Labor to stand right in the judgement of God, and trouble not thyself for the rash and headlong censures of men. Let wicked men, saith one, cut the throat of my credit, and do as they like best with it; when the wind of their calumnies has blown away my good name from me in the way to heaven, I know Christ will take my name out of the mire, and wash it, and restore it to me again.
From the whole of Christ’s humiliation in his life, learn you to pass through all the troubles of your life with a contended, composed spirit, as Christ your fore-runner did. He was persecuted, and bare it meekly: poor, and never murmured; tempted, and never yielded to the temptation; reviled, and reviled not again. When ye therefore pass through any of these trials, look to Jesus, and consider him. See how he that passed through those things before you, managed himself in like circumstances; yea, not only beat the way by his pattern, and example for you, but has in every one of those conditions left a blessing behind him, for them that follow his steps.
Thanks be to God for Jesus Christ.
from The Fountain of Life Opened by John Flavel