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The Beauty of Submission

Submission, in the West, is often resisted. And it's understandable. When held up to the values of liberty, justice, and equality, the idea of submission could feel archaic and oppressive. And then there's our sin nature: most of us would rather not submit to another, because most of us value our wants, needs, and desires over and above our neighbor's.

Enter Jesus, God in the flesh, who lived his life and ministry in submission to the Father's gracious plan to rescue a sinful humanity. It is fascinating that the ethic of submission, which most of us would prefer to avoid, was deeply valued by the God of all justice in the Person of Christ. He lived it. He exemplified it. He standardized it for his followers.

We could look to the night he would be betrayed and arrested for our sake. At the Mount of Olives, anticipating what he would suffer and endure for us, he prayed to the Father, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done" (Luke 22:42). Hear those glorious words again: "not my will, but yours be done." In all humility, our Savior yielded to the Father's redemptive will, showing us the beauty of meek and humble submission.

No wonder the New Testament writers continually encourage us to value submissiveness; it's one way we can emulate our Rescuer (Romans 13:1-5; 1 Corinthians 16:15-16; Ephesians 5:21; Colossians 3:18-24; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 2:13-21; 5:5). Have you been struggling to submit to your neighbors—to place their needs, wants, or desires above your own—whether they be your spouse, co-worker, or fellow brother or sister in Christ? Look to Jesus this week. See his submission to the Father. Let his example encourage your heart and allow that encouragement to help you live the same way he did.

Scripture for Meditation

"All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, 'God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.'" (1 Peter 5:5b; cf. Proverbs 3:34).


Heavenly Father, help me submit to your will, your Word, and your Spirit, so that I could live like your Son.

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