Humility Examples from the life of Jesus Christ
Jesus taught that worldly rulers will “Lord” it over you. That means that they will use force, domination, power, intimidation, authority and control to persuade you to do their will. Jesus said He would not do that. His leadership was a servant style of leadership. Jesus took no position, possessions, title, or status. He simply was a servant of all the people He met. Matthew 20 verses 25-28
Jesus is the greatest example of a humble person! • The greatness of Jesus is measured by His willingness to serve everyone and to undeservedly die for us. • Jesus who never sinned suffered the shame of sin on the cross so we might be set free from the power of sin.
Jesus lived in an honour and shame culture… • Death on the cross was the ultimate shame for a person in His culture. • The shame of the cross and the dishonour it brought to His name was a reason why many Jewish people could not accept Him as their Messiah/Saviour. • Muslims reject Jesus because they say if God had a Son He would not let Him die on a cross.
The greatness of Jesus • Was His humility • His service of others • His compassion for the needy • Jesus lived a life of self-sacrifice • To be great in His Kingdom we need to be the servant of all, like He was.
Humility is mentioned in the Bible as a noble characteristic • Proverbs 15 verse 33 says “Humility comes before honour” • After Jesus humbled Himself and bore the shame of the cross, He was given the highest place of honour in heaven…He is now seated at the right hand of His Heavenly Father – Mark 16 verse 19
Following the humiliation of Jesus at His trial and His death on the cross, God has highly exalted Jesus…. • The Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippian Church in Philippians chapter 2 verses 9-11 “ Therefore God highly exalted Jesus and bestowed on Him a name which is above every other name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those under heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
When Jesus first came to the earth 2,000 years ago; “ He came as a humble little child born in a manger, and grew up to be the servant of all with no place to call home, and died as a criminal.. But the second time Jesus comes to earth; He will come as the King of Kings and every ruler, King and President will hand over their authority to Him, and He shall reign for ever and ever… Jesus as the King of Kings
Is humility weakness? • Proverbs 22 verse 4 says • “The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honour and life”. • To the person who has a dispute it teaches in Proverbs 5 verse 3 • “Go humble yourself and place yourself at your neighbours mercy”.
The strength of humility • It takes courage to humble oneself and seek a reconciliation • It takes strength of character to ask for forgiveness • It is a great leader who humbly admits his/her mistakes
Acts of humility in Jesus life • His baptism by John the Baptist – Matt 3 v 13-15 • His forty day fast – Matt 4 verse 1-2 • Eating with tax collectors and sinners – Matt 9 verse 9-10 • Jesus washed the feet of His disciples – John 13 verses 4-8 • Jesus ministry to the needs of all the people he encountered.
What is false humility? • The person who is proud of their humility has a false humility. • Acting with humility so you will be noticed. • Jesus rebuked the religious leaders who prayed in public so they would be seen.
The Bible has a warning for those who exalt themselves • Luke 14 verse 11, 18 verse 14 • The person who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted”.
The example of Adonijah • Read 1 Kings verse 5 – 7 • Adonijah was a rebellious young man • His father had never disciplined him • Adonijah appointed himself King of Israel. • He got Joab an Army General, Abiathar a priest, but he could not find a prophet to prophesy that he should be King. He gave the people a big feast. • After King David heard of what Adonijah had done he appointed Solomon the King because he was the Lord’s choice. The prophet Nathan had confirmed that Solomon should be King. • Later Adonijah was killed by one of David’s loyal Army Generals as punishment for his rebellion.
Why did Adonijah not invite a prophet to his inauguration? • He was scared that the prophet of God would prophesy that Solomon was meant to be King and not Adonijah • Adonijah had a manipulative personality and he thought he could outwit God by manipulating himself into the Kings position. • He was proud person who thought he should be King. • He tried to gain favour with people through bribery and gifts. This was not done out of pure/godly love but for his own gain.
God is opposed to the proud! • James 4 verse 6 and I Peter 5 verse 5 states that “God is opposed to the proud but gives greater grace/favour to the humble” • Psalm 138 verse 6 states “Although the Lord God is exalted, He regards the lowly, and the proud he knows from afar”. To know God we need to humble ourselves and become a child –like learner. That is why the Christian experience of God’s power in your life starts with repentance, asking forgiveness for your self dependency, and seeking God to help you by coming into your life by the Holy Spirit.
A humble attitude helps us to get to know God…. • God is never impressed by the person who says, “ If God exists let Him prove Himself to me.” This is the attitude of a proud person. We should be humble in the presence of the King of Kings.
How can we humble ourselves? • The Bible teaches us that if we humble ourselves under God’s authority, then at the right time He will exalt us. Psalm 75 verse 6 • Choose to work among the poor and needy, identify with the unjustly treated and bear their burdens as if they are your own.
Prayer is an act of humility • Christian prayer is to be offered from a humble heart • The act of prayer is humbling oneself under the authority of God • The petitions of prayer should be offered to God in a spirit of humility
Humility is expressed when we trust God in faith… • We face many challenges in life that are greater than our ability. • Our response should be to humbly ask God to help us through these challenges by placing our faith in the promises of His Word.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a right spirit within me, Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your Holy Spirit from me, Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain me with a humble spirit.” Psalm 51 verses 10-12 Worship is an act of humility
Philippians 2 vs 3-4 “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard each other as more important than himself” Romans 12 v 10 “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love, give preference to one another in honour” The Apostle Paul instructed us to have a humble attitude towards one another..
Galatians 5 verses 22-23 “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against these things there is no law.” When we ask Christ into our life, the holy Spirit comes into our life and cleans up our innermost being and places His nature and characteristics in us.. These are called the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Humility is a fruit of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives
A measure of our humility is • When we can ask forgiveness for the injustice we have caused another person. • Or an even greater example is when we can offer forgiveness to the people who inflicted injustice on us even before they ask for forgiveness. • The Apostle Paul said that this ministry was given to all believers in Christ ... in 2 Corinthians 5 verse 17 “ and He gave to us the ministry of reconciliation”.
Submitting ourselves to God • I Peter 5 Verses 6- 11 “Humble (submit) yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God and He will exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety upon him, because He cares for you. Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring Lion your adversary the Devil prowls around looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. To Him be all power and glory forever and ever. Amen”
The New Zealand Prime Minister asked the Chinese people of New Zealand for forgiveness…… • Last year the Honourable Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand asked the Chinese people of New Zealand for forgiveness for the Poll Tax that was levied on Chinese people in New Zealand from 1860 to 1950.
The Queen of England offered an apology to the Maori Queen….. • In 1996 the Queen of England , Queen Elisabeth II visited Turangawaewae at Ngaruawahia and offered an apology to the late Maori Queen Dame Te Atarangi Kahu on behalf of the British Crown for the illegal confiscation of 1.6million acres of Maori Land in the 1850’s to 1980’s.