Jesus said in Matthew 23:12, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” This is just one of three occasions (see Luke 14:11 and 18:14) recorded in the Gospels where Jesus used the same statement.
Killing pride and cultivating humility in our hearts is a daily struggle not just for non-Christians but also for all followers of Jesus.
In order to help our church fight this battle against pride, we spent two Sundays studying the implications of Jesus’ statement for all followers of Jesus. In the first sermon, we focused on the danger of pride and the different forms it takes. The call is to see what forms of pride are now evident in our lives. It can be:
- Not practicing what you preach or believe (Matt. 23:3)
- Thinking that you have the right to be proud (23:4)
- Minding one’s own interests without regard for others (23:4)
- Doing good just for show or public recognition (23:5)
- Aiming to gain honor from other people (23:6-7)
In the second sermon, the emphasis is on developing humility. We looked at different portraits or expressions of humility. Humility is seen in:
- Dependence on God like a “child” (Matt. 18:1-4)
- Treating one’s self as an “ordinary” person (Luke 14:7-11)
- Recognizing God’s undeserved mercy as a “sinner” (Luke 18:9-14)
- Submitting to the lordship of Jesus as a “slave” (Matt. 20:20-28)
- Imitating the humility of “Jesus Christ” (Matt. 20:28; Mark 10:45; Phil. 2:5-11)