In 27 bc, the Roman ruler Octavian came before the Senate to lay down his powers. Hed won a civil war, become the sole ruler of that region of the world, and was functioning like an emperor. Yet he knew such power was viewed suspiciously. So Octavian renounced his powers before the Senate, vowing to simply be an appointed official. Their response? The Roman Senate honored the ruler by crowning him with a civic crown and naming him the servant of the Roman people. He was also given the name Augustusthe great one.
Paul wrote of Jesus emptying Himself and taking on the form of a servant. Augustus appeared to do the same. Or had he? Augustus only acted like he was surrendering his power but was doing it for his own gain. Jesus humbled himself by becoming obedient to deatheven death on a cross! (Philippians 2:8). Death on a Roman cross was the worst form of humiliation and shame.
Today, a primary reason people praise servant leadership as a virtue is because of Jesus. Humility wasnt a Greek or Roman virtue. Because Jesus died on the cross for us, Hes the true Servant. Hes the true Savior.
Christ became a servant in order to save us. He made himself nothing (v. 7) so that we could receive something truly greatthe gift of salvation and eternal life.