by Dr. John R.W. Stott

"Jesus renounced the joys of heaven for the sorrows of
earth, exchanging an eternal immunity to the approach of
sin for painful contact with evil in this world. He was
born of a lowly Hebrew mother in a dirty stable in the
insignificant village of Bethlehem. He became a refugee
baby in Egypt. He was brought up in the obscure hamlet of
Nazareth, and toiled at a carpenter's bench to support his
mother and the other children in their home. In due time
he became an itinerant preacher, with few possessions,
small comforts and no home. He made friends with simple
fishermen and publicans. He touched lepers and allowed
harlots to touch him. He gave himself away in a ministry
of healing, helping, teaching and preaching.
He was misunderstood and misrepresented, and became the
victim of men's prejudices and vested interests. He was
despised and rejected by his own people, and deserted by
his own friends. He gave his back to be flogged, his face
to be spat upon, his head to be crowned with thorns, his
hands and feet to be nailed to a common Roman gallows. And
as the cruel spikes were driven home, he kept praying for
his tormentors, 'Father, forgive them; for they know not
what they do.'
Such a man is altogether beyond our reach. He succeeded
just where we invariably fail. He had complete self-
mastery. He never retaliated. He never grew resentful or
irritable. He had such control of himself that, whatever
men might think or say or do, he would deny himself and
abandon himself to the will of God and the welfare of
mankind. 'I seek not my own will', he said, and 'I do not
seek my own glory'. As Paul wrote, 'For Christ did not
please himself.' This utter disregard of self in the
service of God and man is what the Bible calls love."

(From Basic Christianity)

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