Matthew 18:1-4, At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 20:20-28, Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. 21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. 22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. 23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father. 24 And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. 25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
As I mentioned in our previous post (if you haven’t read “As a Child,” part one, I definitely recommend you do so), there are few, if any topics found in the Bible more frequently, and dealt with more ruthlessly, than the topic of pride. You’ll find pride dealt with in the Old Testament, especially Proverbs, and in the New Testament, and especially the Gospels. Pride and humility are dealt with often by the Lord Jesus, the apostles Paul, James, and Peter.
If you have been a Christian for any length of time, you totally get it. We all struggle with pride. And, if we don’t think we do, that’s a sure sign that we are really struggling with it!
During their three years with the Lord, the disciples never seemed to get it. Sounds a bit like us today! They were filled with pride, they wanted to be “top dog,” as the passage above shows clearly, They were often filled with jealousy, envy, personal ambitions, a competitive spirit, and they often lacked compassion for those who needed it the most. Sounds a little bit like us today wouldn’t you say so? Reminds me of another Andrew Murray quote:
Let him consider how all lack of love; all disregard for the needs, feelings, and weakness of others; all sharp and hasty judgments and words, so often excused under the plea of being outright and honest; all manifestations of temper, touchiness, and irritation; all feelings of bitterness and estrangement, have their root in nothing but pride, that only seeks itself. Will he open his eyes to see how a dark and devilish pride creeps in almost everywhere? Even the church assemblies of the saints are not exempt. Let him begin to ask what would happen, if in himself, around him, towards fellow saints, and the world, believers were really permanently guided by the humility of Jesus. Let him acknowledge that the cry of our whole heart, night and day, should be for the humility of Jesus in ourselves and all around us! Let him honestly fix his heart on his own lack of the humility which has been revealed in the likeness of Christ’s life and in the whole character of His redemption, and he will begin to feel as if he had not yet fully known Christ and His salvation.”
Powerful words right there!
Think about it for a moment. Aren’t most of our problems – most of our sins, rooted in pride and a love of self? Aren’t most problems at home, in the church, in the political realm, around the corner, and around the world, rooted in pride and a love for self?
Our Lord Jesus humbled Himself. Yes, God in the flesh, the Creator of the universe, humbled himself. He chose to serve, rather than to be served. If God could humble himself, shouldn’t we do the same?
Philippians 2:5-8, Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
As I mentioned in the previous post, It is NATURAL to ask, “Who is the greatest?” It’s SUPERNATURAL to humble oneself and as a “little child.”
We definitely need God’s help to deal with the pride liking in our hearts, and it will all start when we get a greater glimpse of Him in His majesty!
“Humility is simply the sense of entire nothingness, which comes when we see how truly God is all, and in which we make way for God to be all. … In the life of committed Christians, of those who pursue and profess holiness, humility ought to be the evidence of their righteousness. It is often said that this is not so. Couldn’t one reason be that in the teaching and example of the church, it has never been placed in its position of supreme importance?” – Andrew Murray