How Could He Stoop So Low?

“How could you stoop so low?” is often times a question reserved for someone we’re disappointed in. We question what the person was thinking (or wasn’t thinking) as we try to make some kind of sense of the situation. I’m sure we’ve all been the person to say and hear this phrase at certain points in our lives.

 If you can believe it, this is a question I could actually find myself asking Jesus…and multiple times. Without a doubt, it wouldn’t be in the same line of questioning reserved for the rest of us, but it’s a question that’s really one of amazement. How could Jesus stoop so low?

When you look at the life of Jesus, His life was the essence of humility. It was apparent from the moment of his arrival, as the hymn “King Most High” states, “humble birth, held no worth.” While announced by an angel and peaking the interest of an earthly king, our eternal King was born in a place likely reserved for animals. How could Jesus stoop so low?

The humility even came to His physical appearance. We often times see visual depictions of Jesus with long-flowing hair and a well-trimmed beard, but the prophet Isaiah stated in 53:2 that “he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.” This stands in stark contrast to His heavenly appearance in Revelation 19:12-13 where John writes, “His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.” How could Jesus stoop so low?

Through the course of Jesus’ ministry, He openly spoke of the kingdom of heaven and knew He was the prophesied King. Still yet, we see Jesus literally stooped down to wash the feet of His apostles (John 13:1-17), picked up a child (Mark 9:36), drew in the dirt while defending a troubled woman (John 8:6), and rubbed mud in a blind man’s eyes so he could see (John 9:6). How could Jesus stoop so low? 

While God’s desire for man is to lift up the name of Jesus, in the darkest moment of time, the only lifting of Jesus was Him being physically lifted on a cross. Again, the one called “the King of kings and Lord of lords,” yet He dies a criminal’s death. How could Jesus stoop so low?

How could He do it? Of course, love was the motivation, but in everything Jesus did –in life and in death –He was stooping low in order for us to learn to stoop low. It was Jesus who said of Himself that He “came not to be served but to serve” (Matt. 20:28). As Paul called his fellow disciples to be imitators of him as he was of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1), Paul would also refer to himself as a “servant of Christ Jesus” (Romans 1:1). Jesus could stoop so low because it was the purpose of His life to show us how to live ours –in humility and in service to our most high God.