Summary: The world thinks humility is pious weakness, whereas the bible says it is strength through submission, in fact true humility results in power, and honour and glory and majesty and strength. Who would not want that?
“Please join me in my prayer.” Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of our hearts, be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, our strength, and our redeemer. Amen. (Ps. 19:14)
That was some Gospel reading, I mean, I know I have been away for a while but what exactly did all that mean; where do you start putting that together. This one did puzzle me at first, but with the help of the Holy Spirit the key to this message is in verse 29, where Jesus said, “for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”.
In most of my sermons I usually mention the Gospel somewhere, as it rarely taught, … and so is humility, and for me … it is one of the most exciting part of being a Christian; … as humility is not about being weak and submission to all and sundry, but humility in its proper use is power and strength and honour and glory; characteristics missing in many a Christians life; yet it was arguably the greatest characteristics of our Lord himself.
Verse 29 again, “for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”; is that not powerful, rest for our souls in this troubled world: Jesus is telling us that as we learn to follow his example of humility, we will find rest and peace; whereas pride and arrogance throw us into tension and turmoil? I know which I would rather have, as humility also allows us to rest from the competitiveness of this age, which is never satisfying.
Humility is such a powerful quality that we see it displayed all through the life of Jesus, and we all agree … Jesus was and is the most powerful man who ever lived; and who was always concerned about doing his Father’s will, and never his own. In fact right up to the end as he faced the cross, Jesus prayed: “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will”.
Here is the very essence of the Christian faith; we must serve God at the expense of ourselves … and I am not condemning anyone here because we all fail, and we all serve ourselves now and again, but what I am talking about here is that when we do serve ourselves, it hurts somewhere; but if it does bother us, we can say with confidence that we are doing our best to follow Jesus, and seeking out his perfect will, the will of God, both of which are the same. You see there is no condemnation here, we either live to serve God, or we live to serve ourselves, there is no third option.
Now whether God lets us serve him or not, is an entirely different matter but if we are living for him, and we are, then it is our desire to serve him, and please him. Jesus said as much in John 6:38, “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me”. If you are still, unsure … why are you here today worshipping the Lord, you see, we have arrived at that place where we want to live for him, … and doing so benefit ourselves as we are no longer our own … we belong to him, and we desire to be like him, as he is our role model for this life.
Indeed, Philippians 2:5-8 goes much further, and Paul admonishes us, he rebukes us by saying that “our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death … even death on a cross”!
I don’t like this kind of rebuke, because it is simply telling us what we should do, without telling us why we should do it … but that why is found in Matthew 12:50 which says, “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister”. We should make ourselves humble because in doing God’s will … we bring ourselves us into a direct relationship with Jesus. Think about it, the most powerful man who ever lived, wants to call us his brother or sister … now that is some claim, and … difficult to grasp, but that is what the bible says.