"Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls." (Matt. 11:29)
We have seen the humility in the life of Christ, as He laid open His heart to us: let us listen to His teaching. There we shall hear how He speaks of it, and how far He expects men, and specially His disciples, to be humble as He was. Let us carefully study the passages, which I can scarce do more than quote, to receive the full impression of how often and how earnestly He taught it: it may help us to realize what He asks of us.
1. Look at the commencement of His ministry. In the Beatitudes with which the Sermon on the Mount opens, He speaks: " Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth." The very first words of His proclamation of the kingdom of heaven reveal the open gate through which alone we enter. The poor, who have nothing in themselves, to them the kingdom comes. The meek, who seek nothing in themselves, theirs the earth shall be. The blessings of heaven and earth are for the lowly. For the heavenly and the earthly life, humility is the secret of blessing.
2. "Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly of heart, and you shall find rest for your souls." Jesus offers Himself as Teacher. He tells us what the spirit both is, which we shall find in Him as Teacher, and which we can learn and receive from Him. Meekness and lowliness is the one thing He offers us; in it we shall find perfect rest of soul. Humility is to be our salvation.
3. The disciples had been disputing who would be the greatest in the kingdom, and had agreed to ask the Master (Lk. 9:46; Matt. 28:3). He set a child in their midst, and said, "Whoever shall humble himself as the little child, shall be exalted." "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" The question is indeed a far-reaching one. What will be the chief distinction in the heavenly kingdom? The answer, none but Jesus would have given. The chief glory of Heaven, the true heavenly-mindedness, the chief of the graces, is humility. "He that is least among you, the same shall be great."
4. The sons of Zebedee had asked Jesus to sit on His right and left, the highest place in the kingdom. Jesus said it was not His to give, but the Father's, who would give it to those for whom it was prepared. They must not look or ask for it. Their thought must be of the cup and the baptism of humiliation. And the He added, "Whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant. Even as the Son of Man came to serve." Humility, as it is the mark of Christ the heavenly, will be the one standard of glory in heaven: the lowliest is the nearest to God. The primacy in the Church is promised to the humblest.
5. Speaking to the multitude and the disciples, of the Pharisees and their love of the chief seats, Christ said once again (Matt. 23:11). "He that is greatest among you shall be your servant." Humiliation is the only ladder to honor in God's kingdom.
6. On another occasion, in the house of a Pharisee, He spoke the parable of the guest who would be invited to come up higher (Lk. 14:1-11), and added, "For whosoever exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted." The demand is inexorable; there is no other way. Self-abasement alone will be exalted.
7. After the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican, Christ spake again (Lk. 18:14), "Everyone that exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted." In the temple and presence and worship of God, everything is worthless that is not pervaded by deep, true humility towards God and men.
8. After washing the disciples' feet, Jesus said (Jn.13:14), "If I then, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet." The authority of command, and example, every thought either of obedience or conformity, make humility the first and most essential element of discipleship.
9. At the Holy Supper table, the disciples still disputed who should be the greatest (Lk. 22:26). Jesus said, "He that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he does serve. I am among you as he that serves." The path in which Jesus walked, and which He opened up for us, the power and spirit in which He wrought our salvation, and to which He saves us, is ever the humility that makes me the servant of all.
How little this is preached. How little it is practised. How little the lack of it is felt or confessed. I do not say, how few attain to it, some recognizable measure of likeness to Jesus in His humility. But how few ever think of making it a distinct object of continual desire or prayer. How little the world has seen it. How little has it been seen even in the inner circle of the Church.
My dear friends, this study is without a doubt making a huge impact in the lives of so many people that have the ability to read these words. I want to leave you with the following question:
How are you exhibiting humility in your daily living?
May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' precious name my friends and thanks again for reading this far. Jesus loves you and so do I!!!...:-)
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