Daily Discipline #116
By Colleen Donahue
One of the things that enraged the Pharisees at the time of Jesus Christ was the fact that Jesus said He came from God the Father and would again be returning to Him (John 13:3/ 16:28/ 17:8). In doing this He was tying his identity with God. In their eyes it was blasphemy and punishable by death.
The Jewish people in general were looking for a Messiah that was strong and bold, and courageous. They wanted a military leader that could mobilize them to fight their enemies (which were many) and establish their kingdom here on earth. They pictured a great king on horseback that would ride tall through the land. Everyone would look up to this Messiah and be willing to fall in line behind him.
So what happened that the Jewish people missed the Messiah when He did come? They were all watching and waiting for Him diligently. How could they not recognize him? I believe the answer is because Jesus Christ did not come as they were expecting Him. In fact, He came in quite the opposite way. We would say today that he came through the back door!
There is one characteristic of Jesus Christ that pervaded his life. It was not the quality that former great leaders had and not usually the one that our present leaders display. But this quality is the key to understanding Jesus Christ and what He taught. Without this one character trait in our own life we will never come to really know God! Therefore this study on Jesus will be a very important one. Let's look now at ........
The Humility of Christ
Humility - A Definition
Prior to Jesus Christ coming, the Greek philosophers despised humility as a character trait because it implied weakness, inadequacy and worthlessness. The word was always used in a bad or inferior sense. This however is not the meaning defined in the Bible and so completely illustrated by Christ's life.
Biblical humility is a recognition that by ourselves we are inadequate and worthless (1 Corinthians 4:7). Yet is is because we are created in God's image that we have infinite worth and dignity. True humility produces gratitude in us. We see that it is God Himself who has lifted us up and given man all his natural gifts.
The humble man sees that he has been the recipient of God's redeeming love and regards himself as not being his own but God's in Christ. (John 15:5 / Acts 17:28a / Ephesians 2:10)
Humility in the spiritual sense is a grace of the soul that allows one not to think more highly of himself then he ought to think (Romans 12:3). A humble mind is at the root of all other graces and virtues.
Jesus Christ was the one man who didn't have to be humble. He was equal with God and had been sent by Him. He had all knowledge and power available to Him. Yet He was the supreme example of humility and taught that it was the path to true greatness.
Men by nature are proud creatures that love to proclaim what we know and can do. We have no qualification to produce the grace of humility in ourselves. So, how do we get it? What do we do? Let's look to the life of Jesus Christ for the answers.
(Please note that synonyms in the Bible for the word "humble"/ "humility" would be "poor", "afflicted" , "lowly", "meek", "brought low", "bowed down".)
A Humble Start
Day 1- What kind of people were Christ's family and relatives? Is there any mention of royalty or fame?
Parents- Matthew 1:18-20, 24-25 / Matthew 13:55-57 / Luke 1:26-31
Brothers/Sisters - Matthew 12: 46 / Matthew 13:55-56/ Mark 3:3 / John 2:12/ John 7:5 / Galatians 1:19
Aunt/Uncle --Luke 1:5-7
Cousin John - Matthew 3:4 / Mark 1:6-7
Day 2- In men's minds the birth of the long awaited Messiah and his announcement to the world would come with great royalty and fanfare. What actually happened?
Luke 2: 1-20
Day 3- A royal child would have been watched carefully and his development documented for the world. This one verse sums up all that is known of Christ's childhood.
Day 4- From the beginning of His ministry, Jesus could have pushed forward boldly and announced Himself to the world. Instead, He submitted to introduction by John, his cousin, and allowed John to baptize Him rather than vice versa.
Luke 3:16, 21
John the Baptist could have held onto the crowds and his greatness but when Jesus Christ came onto the scene what did he do?
John 3: 27-30 / Luke 7:28
In Christ We Have a Living Example of Humility
Day 5- Jesus, as a humble man, allowed the Holy Spirit to fill and control Him. He obeyed and was led.
Day 6- Although Jesus Christ was equal with God, when He became man He set those privileges aside. Temptation came to Him as it does to all men. (With one difference from us -- Jesus did not sin.)
Mark 1:13 / Philippians 2:5-8
Day 7- Jesus never flaunted His authority from Heaven. He operated only as God gave Him orders, rather than from His own will.
Matthew 4:3-7 / Luke 22:42 / John 5:3 / John 6:38 / John 7:16
He lived to give all praise and glory to His Father.
Matthew 4:10 / John 7:18 / John 17: 1, 4
Day 8- Humility is the place of entire dependence on God. It is yielding to God His rightful place. This is the kind of dependence that Jesus so clearly displayed. Listen to the words that the Lord used as He speaks of His relationship with His Father.
John 5: 19, 30, 41 / John 6: 38 / John 7:16, 28 / John 8:28, 42, 50 / John 14:10, 24
How Did Christ's Humility -- or Total Dependence Upon God --Manifest Itself in His Life?
Day 9- While a proud man feels that no one can do a job like he can, Jesus did not operate this way. From the beginning, He trusted others with the message of the gospel which He had come to earth to proclaim. He did not keep knowledge to Himself but wanted us all to have the truth that the Father had given to Him. He did not try to impress with lofty words but instead used parables and stories so that all could understand.
Matthew 13:34-35 / Mark 4:2 / Luke 10:1 / John 15:15 / John 16:15
Day 10- He was not afraid to associate with those that were rejected in society.
-Tax Collectors and Sinners - Matthew 9:9-13 / Mark 2: 14-17 / Luke 5:27-32 / Luke 15:1 / Luke 19:105
-Samaritan Woman - John 4:7-9
-Adulterous Woman - John 8: 1-7
Day 11- Jesus was not too high and mighty to get His hands dirty. He allowed Himself to be touched by all men (even the diseased and insane) and He in turn was willing to touch all men.
Lepers - Matthew 8:2-4 / Luke 5:13
Women--Matthew 8:14-15 / Matthew 9:20-22 / Mark 5:25-34
Blind, Dumb, and Sick of all kind --Matthew 20:34 / Mark 8:22-25 / Luke 6:19
While Christ could have healed all these people without touching them, He chose to heal them in this way. It was especially unthinkable at the time to get anywhere near a leper, no less to touch one!
Day 12- A proud man wants all men to know his greatness and achievements and calculate how to get the greatest amount of people to know it. But Jesus was not concerned with mass numbers and looking good in the polls. He had deep concerns for even ONE person that had gone astray or needed help. His mission was to seek and save those that were lost. He was not concerned about being with the "upwardly mobile".
Matthew 17:18 / Matthew 18:12-14 / Luke 15:3-10 / Luke 19:10
Day 13- It seemed that the greater the sinner, the more Jesus wanted to minister and forgive. As Son of God, He might have refused such "low level" associations but didn't. He involved Himself with some of the most hideous situations.
Matthew 9:32-33 / Matthew 12: 22-23 / Mark 5:1-13/ Luke 7:36-48
Day 14- Jesus wanted ALL men and women to succeed and gave them this warning?.
Matthew 26:41 / Mark 14:38
Day 15- Great men of the world try to conquer and control others. What did Jesus want to do?
Matthew 20: 25-28, 32-34 / Mark 10: 42-45 / Luke 9:52-56 / John 13: 3-5, 12-17 / John 15: 12-13
Day 16- Jesus was concerned about the most insignificant people and not just those that could advance His "career".
Matthew 19: 13-15 / Mark 5: 22-23, 35-43 / Mark 6:34 / Luke 8:43-48
He also regarded those that were doing the best they could.
Matthew 9:36 / Matthew 11:28-30 / Luke 21: 1-4
Day 17- Jesus thought of others and their needs. He was His brother’s keeper.
Luke 9:12-17 / Matthew 14:15-21 / Mark 8:1-3
He had come to earth to be men's servant.
Day 18- A humble man is not afraid to exalt others and see that they get the credit.
Matthew 11: 9-11 / Matthew 25: 15- 23
Day 19- Jesus was respectful of authority and yet was not afraid to speak out against all the injustice brought by the Pharisees and lawyers at the time.
Matthew 15: 3-9 / Matthew 21: 23-27 / Matthew 23: 13-36 / Luke 11:38-53 / John 18: 23, 33-37
He was not one just to go along with popular opinion.
Matthew 19: 3-9
Day 20- In His life on earth Jesus kept the law set by authorities (Matthew 17: 24-27) but He was not afraid to break man's law in order to obey God's.
Mark 2: 23-28 / Mark 3:1-5 / Luke 6: 6-11
Jesus, as a humble man, was not shy and reticent. He stood up for the truth. He had a strong character to be able to act when needed.
Mark 1:22-27 / Mark 4: 37-41 / Luke 4:35-36, 41 / Luke 8:26-33 / Luke 9:42
Day 21- The world classed Jesus Christ with the outlaws and criminals. He accepted His valuation by other men.
Mark 10: 33-34 / Luke 22:37
He did not need to defend Himself or answer allegations.
Mark 14: 60-62 / Luke 23:9
Day 22- Even going to His own death He humbled Himself to comfort others.
Luke 23: 27-28
And even as He was dying He was forgiving.
Luke 23: 34
How Can We Live In Humility As Christ Did?
Day 23 - Man by nature wants to be great, or good or first. Jesus tells us in these verses very pointedly how one is to become great.
Matthew 18:1-4 / Matthew 23: 11-12 / Mark 9:35 / Luke 9:46-48 / Luke 14: 10-11
Day 24- A humble man puts God first even before the closest family member. He knows who is most important.
Matthew 19:29 / Luke 14: 26
We are challenged today to lay aside our personal ambition and follow Jesus.
Matthew 16: 24-26 / Luke 14:33
Day 25- When we take Jesus Christ to be our life, what qualities are we "clothed" with?
Ephesians 4:1-3 / Colossians 3:12-14 / 1 Peter 5:5
"Nothing but the new and divine nature, taking entirely the place of the old self, can make us really humble." (Andrew Murray from his book "Humility")
What Attitude Does a Man with Humility Possess?
Day 26- A humble man sees himself as he really is before God, while a proud man compares himself with others!
Luke 18: 9-14
A humble man enters the kingdom of God because he has a particular attitude. What is it?
Luke 18:17 / Matthew 5:3
Day 27- How does a humble man relate and live with others?
Romans 12: 3-4, 10-11 / Philippians 2:3-8 / 1 Peter 5:5
Day 28- To a humble man, forgiveness is a way of life.
Matthew 18: 21-22, 27-33
Day 29- When we have done wrong what can we do to set things right?
Luke 15: 18-21 / James 1:21-22
Day 30- Humility is NOT a belittling of self or an outward show.
Matthew 6:16-18 / Colossians 2:23
Day 31- What will God do for the humble?
Psalm 25:9 / Proverbs 11:2 / Proverbs 22:4 / Zephaniah 2:3 / James 4: 5-10
God honors the humble heart.
Proverbs 15: 33 / Proverbs 18:12