The Humble Ones

"How valuable to Him are the humblest among us, who lay down their lives to follow after Christ completely, to be like Him in word and action and lifestyle."

THE DISCIPLES ASKED JESUS who was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, and Jesus set a little child in their midst. His words which follow seem to be a mix of unrelated thoughts, except seen in the eyes of the Spirit, they aren’t.

“Except ye be converted (turned about), and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3)

To become as a little child is to humble yourself. Humility is strength of character, not weakness. That we become humble means obedience from us. We choose humility over pride and selfishness. That it is compared to the behavior of a child means not ignorance or lack of knowledge nor simpleness of mind but instead, is submission to authority. It is a meekness of nature exhibited in our actions. We set aside the way of the flesh and choose to model ourselves after Christ. We can read this thought in reverse as well. Whoever refuses to humble themselves will not walk fully in the plan God has for their life. God has a wonderful plan for each of us. Humility is required to be correctly placed in it.

If we are offended by humility, then we are on the wrong page and headed toward hell. These are Jesus’ words in Matthew 18:8-9. Here, Jesus did not want us to literally carve out our eyes or cut off our hands but to see in these extreme examples the people or situations or circumstances which are leading us away from the gospel. At that moment, He was leading men toward salvation that He would purchase through His blood, and He wanted them to choose Him over the deception of the Pharisees and other religious leaders. He gave us an example of humbleness in a picture of the Father, in the Beatitudes of Matthew 5. Though He is the Greatest of all, the Father is the most humble. He knows who He is, He is all knowledge, but He would rather you look at Jesus, and His Spirit, the Comforter, speaks always of Jesus (John 15:26).

Jesus described himself as meek and lowly (Matthew 11:39). This does not mean weak. He did speak sharply to many while living on this earth, but He did so, speaking the Words of the Father. And there is an important difference. We tend to speak out of our soul, from our mind and emotions, whereas Jesus walked in the Spirit, hearing Him, aware of Him. He spoke from God’s heart. He was bold when required to be bold, and we are commanded to be bold, but He was gentle and kind to the weak. He never turned anyone away but healed them all. He gave forgiveness to those lost in their sins who came to Him. He came to forgive.

Jesus died to pay the debt of sin, to give us God’s great forgiveness, and there are not enough times we can forgive others in response, not even seventy-times-seven. Forgiveness requires our humility. We seek forgiveness even when we are the one wronged. If they ask of us our shirt, we give our coat as well and walk with them two miles instead of only one. We seek to make peace with our (human) accusers or we turn the situation over to God and walk free of the weight of it.

We are peacemakers, which is our humility to God despite rising emotions. Our bitterness consumes us. We cling to men’s faults and highlight them, becoming the sheep who went astray. Our selfishness is not an armor to protect us at all but a weight. Humility casts our cares onto Jesus and alters our perspective from our flesh and mind to that of the Spirit.

We choose to become living sacrifices, setting aside “us” to be united fully with God. If we’d think about that more fully, the reverence of it would take hold. In the fear of God, in the worship of Him who is so great, is seen our humility. We worship Him through our actions, by giving forgiveness that is unearned, and through our singing, we offer psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, lifting up His name.

How valuable to Him are the humblest among us, who lay down their lives to follow after Christ completely, to be like Him in word and action and lifestyle. Not simply Sunday Christians but daily ones. Those men who like Paul, like the disciples, turned their back on the world and how the world system and the religious system acted, and in so doing, found a much greater thing. So, too, should we be as they were, willing to lay it all down, our personal opinion and turbulent emotions, in favor of an attitude of humbleness, of forgiveness, which permeates heaven and spills over onto earth.

“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” (Ephesians 5:20-21)

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. Speak not evil one of another, brethren.” (James 4:10-11)

Image by Lesia_K from Pixabay

Suzanne D. Williams, Author