"[Jesus] humbled himself in obedience to God…"
To His ambitious disciples, Jesus said, "I am among you as one who serves" (Luke 22:27). The background of this staggering assertion was the unseemly argument among His disciples as to who should be the greatest in God's kingdom. With such power-struggle, the Master's humility stands in striking contrast.
Humility is a distinctively human grace, though Christ's contemporaries viewed it as anything but a virtue (even today people praise the ‘virtue of pride'). Jesus elevated the word and interpreted it with new meaning – God-view-meaning. Humility is not, as many feels, thinking meanly or talk down to oneself. Rather, it is thinking or talking not of oneself at all! This was characteristic of our Lord. He was clothed with humility, and it was not an outer pretense but inward life within Him.
Let us consider first the example He sets. It has rightly been said that Jesus ‘was a standing rebuke to the pride of every kind and a living example of humility at its highest.' By working as a carpenter, He rebuked pride of birth and of rank and position. He rebuked the pride of independence by allowing women to supply His financial needs while on earth. He rebuked pride of intellect when He said, "I do nothing on my own but say only what the Father taught me" (John 8:28). He rebuked the pride of self-help and will-power when He asserted, "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing" (John 5:19). He was content to be nothing in order that His Father might be all. [P.s: Notice how often Jesus used words like "nothing" and "not" of Himself in the Gospel of John. Underline the occurrences and then follow the example. Jesus was just as humble before men as He was before the Father.]
Secondly, consider the teaching He gave on the theme of humility. His humility consisted in the surrender of Himself to the Father for the fulfillment of His will and He taught us to have the same attitude. Hear His words: "God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him" (Matthew 5:3); "I am humble and gentle at heart" (Matthew 11:29); "Whoever wants to be the first among you must become your slave" (Matthew 20:27); "For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted" (Luke 14:11).
Only the indwelling Christ – Christ in us – can make us truly humble and self-forgetful; only He can reproduce in us His own humility through the Holy Spirit. How slow we are to learn that God's way up is down! Our pride came from the flesh, but the source of our humility is from the Spirit of Christ. Amen.
Jesus says, "I am humble and gentle at heart."
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.