INTRODUCTION – 5 QUOTATIONS ABOUT HUMILITY
- The best way to be right or wrong is humbly
- Stay humble or stumble
- Humility is like an underwear – essential but indecent if it shows off
- Sincere humility attracts. Lack of humility subtracts. Artificial humility detracts
- I used to think that God's gifts were on shelves—one above the other and the taller we grew, the more easily we could reach them. I now find that God's gifts are on shelves one beneath the other and that it is not a question of growing taller but of stooping lower.
THE HUMILITY OF JESUS CHRIST
A) KENOSIS, THE THEOLOGY OF THE INCARNATION – GOD MANIFESTED IN THE FLESH – IS BASED ON THE GREEK WORD KENOS, WHICH MEANS “EMPTYING ONE’S SELF” OR “POURING OUT ONE’S SELF”. It is the word used in Philippians 2:7, which was translated in the KJV as “made himself of no reputation”.
B) The Amplified Bible translated it as “stripped Himself of all privileges and rightful dignity”; the NIV as “made himself nothing”; the New Living Translation as “He gave up His divine privileges”; The Living Bible as laid aside His mighty power and glory”; The Young’s Literal Translation as “but did emptied Himself”; the International Standard Version as “poured out in emptiness”; and the Interlinear Bible as “poured out Himself”.
C) The Teacher’s Outline and Study Bible Commentary expressed the idea as:
· The Lord, whom we are to love, came and loved us.
· The Lord, whom we are to adore, came and adored us.
· The Lord, whom we are to wait upon, came and waited upon us.
· The Lord, whom we are to minister to, came and ministered to us.
· The Lord, whom we are to seek, came and sought us.
· The Lord, whom we are to serve, came and served us.
D) The KENOSIS of Christ involves two things. First, the kenosis involves the veiling of Christ’s preincarnate glory. During the Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1–13) and during His appearance to the apostle John as recorded in Revelation 1, we see a bedazzling Jesus. While neither of these pictures may be accurate representations of Jesus’ glory prior to His Incarnation, we can imagine that such glory was impressive indeed. If He had looked that way on earth, it would have made a normal life impossible. Secondly, the kenosis involves the voluntary non-use of some of His divine attributes some of the time (Matt. 24:36). Nonuse does not mean subtraction. Just because He didn’t use them doesn’t mean He did not have them or could not have used them if He had chosen.
THE EXPRESSIONS of Christ HUMILITY – THE TANGIBLE SIDE OF KENOSIS
He came from splendor to be born in poverty. He left the presence of angels, for the company of me. He laid down a scepter in heaven to be laid in a manger, and exchanged the worship of Arch-angels, for the companionship of lowly shepherds.
He walked into the world with all the power of Almighty God at his bidding, but he was carried out a mutilated body lowered from a cross.
He refused earthly Kingship, although he was still a King. He loved his mother yet gave her away at the Cross. He healed the broken-hearted, yet he himself, died with a broken heart.
He loved the fellowship of friends, yet was cast out by his kinsmen. He held an executive meeting on the Mount of Transfiguration, and then wept alone in the Garden of Gethsemane.
He could walk on water, but could not walk away from the tears in the eyes of the Widow from Nain. He could command the stars in their orbits, but he refused to change the circumstances of his own execution. His mission was a commitment to free all men, yet he was imprisoned on the testimony of one man.
He delivered many from pain, but he was delivered to suffer agonizing pain. He dried the eyes of multitudes, but no one dried his eyes in Gethsemane. He carried the burdens of the world, but only one was brought forth to help him bear his Cross to Calvary.
He laid down a scepter in heaven, to be laid in a borrowed tomb.
He walked out of heaven, pure, perfect, and beautiful. He returned beaten, mutilated, and nail scarred.
OUR RESPONSE TO THE HUMILITYOF CHRIST
The Holy Shadow
It is said that long ago there lived a saint so good that the angels came down to see how a mortal could be so godly. He went about his daily work diffusing virtue as a star diffuses light, as a flower emits perfume, without being aware of it. Two words told the story of his days—he gave; he forgave. Yet these words never fell from lips; they were only expressed by his smile, in his forbearance and charity. The angels asked God that the gift of miracles might be given to this good man. The answer was, "Yes; ask him what he wishes." So the angels spoke to him about it. Would he choose that the touch of his hand should heal the sick? He said, no, that he would rather God should do that. Would he have power to convert souls? He answered, no, that it was the Holy Spirit's work. What, then, did he desire? He said, "That God may give me His grace." When pressed further to give the particular power he would have, he replied, "That I may do a great deal of good without ever knowing it." Then it was decided that every time the saint's shadow should fall behind or on either side, so that he could not see it, it should have the power to cure disease, soothe pain, and comfort sorrow. Thus it came to pass that, falling thus out of his sight, his shadow made withered plants grow again, and fading flowers sweet, gave health to pale children and joy to unhappy mothers. But the saint was never aware of the blessings that flowed from him. And the people, respecting his humility, even forgot his name and spoke of him as the Holy Shadow. How different this dear saint was from some of the present-day leaders in our religious circles whose names almost overshadow the name of Him whom they preach.
Let us be free from arrogance and pride and learn to serve with a humble heart.
The pathway to revival is humility. Lord, help us not to see our own actions so that pride would not be found in our hearts. Instead, help us to see your actions, so that we may forever be in humble awe of your wonders…