Humility from Where We’d Least Expect It - The Warrior's Journey®

Humility from Where We’d Least Expect It

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“Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan River coming to John to be baptized. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” (Matthew 3:12-13)

When John called Jews to be baptized he was calling them to humble themselves. In Judaism, baptism was reserved for proselytes – non-Jews who were converting to Judaism. By submitting to John’s baptism, Jews were taking their place with sinful humanity and putting no faith in their status as children of Abraham. So when Jesus, the Son of God, came to John for baptism, John tried to prevent it. He somehow thought such humility was unbecoming to One so great and mighty.

We should never cease to be amazed at the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only member of the human race to whom humility comes naturally. We tiny specks – on this tiny speck of a planet – must learn humility. And learning humility comes hard to us. Before we willingly step down from our imagined godhood, we must fall on our face innumerable times. Failure must hound us continually before we finally come to grips with our own stupidity, frailty, and sinfulness.

We would expect it to be the other way around. By our standards, Jesus – the Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer of the universe, should have the high and mighty attitude. But no, Jesus is gentle and humble (Matthew 11:28-30). He who dwelt with the Father from all eternity (John 17:5) entered our world in the most inconspicuous and inauspicious way. He made no demands for a privileged existence down here, but chose to live in poverty and obscurity.

Yet Christ gladly humbled Himself in order to identify with the dregs of humanity (Hebrews 2:10-11, 14, 18; 4:15; 5:8). He “made Himself nothing” and “took on the form of a slave” (Philippians 2:5-8). Jesus began His life on earth in a stable, lived life without anywhere to lay His head, and ended life in a borrowed grave (Luke 2:7; Matthew 8:20; 27:57-60). Jesus always associated with the lowly and accepted the most menial jobs – even those His own disciples refused to do (John 13:1-17).

In sharp contrast, haughtiness and arrogance always come natural to us. We – who are nothing more than pond scum compared to Jesus – are the ones who swagger about. Sometimes I wonder how God can stomach our contemptable pride in the light of His own Son’s humility.


What was the ultimate outcome of Christ’s humiliation (Philippians 2:9-11)?

What will be the ultimate outcome of our self-exaltation (Luke 14:11; 18:14)?

Everyone who humbles himself will be exalted and everyone who exalts himself will be humbled. Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up.

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