TAKING THE LOWEST PLACE
Sunday, December 12, 2010
TAKING THE LOWEST PLACE
“When someone invites you to a wedding feast…
take the lowest place, so that when your host comes,
he will say to you,
‘Friend, move up to a better place….
For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
In this upside down world, Jesus is commanding us to live humbly, to live right side up. He is telling us that humility is not an optional choice, but that His true followers will live humbly, not taking the places of honor.
Unfortunately, we as believers often completely ignore Jesus’ command, and instead promote ourselves, and our goals and dreams, even for ministry.
Sadly, many today in the churches push and shove to put forward their leadership, their abilities, their place at the table. They want the places of honor, and to be recognized for their talents, and their hard work for the Kingdom. They believe they deserve to be out front, and that God has called them to be there.
We must have leaders, but we must have leaders who follow Jesus’ style of leadership. Our Lord never put Himself forward, but simply walked around doing good deeds, and giving out freely the Word of God. Our Lord gave us the example of perfect humility, taking off His royal robes, and going incognito into the world to show us how to wash one another’s feet.
Jesus never exalted himself. When He went into people’s homes, He sat wherever He could, not in the place of honor, unless His host put Him there. Jesus never started a ‘movement’ or an ‘institution’ of any kind. He simply lived the life of love toward people that His Father had instructed Him to live.
He was a simple man, and lived humbly, as we are to live. It was usually only the poor who gave him honor, as shown by the prostitute who poured perfume on his feet.
We must reject the notion that men of substance promote themselves, look good, sound good, dress well, and are ‘camera-ready’ all the time. Jesus was nothing special to look at (Isaiah 53:1-3). He had no great physical gifts to call men to Himself. He was like most of us, just average in looks, in physique, in voice, in his everyday self.
But He was the Son of God. And He was the firstborn of all who humble themselves to follow Him. He calls us to be His brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers, to be part of His family. Only the lowly in heart will reside with Him in heaven. (Matt. 5:3).
So let’s be careful, brothers, not to esteem highly what God does not esteem. Be careful and watchful that you and I don’t fall into the trap the enemy has set, and follow men of worldly substance instead of our lowly Savior, who gave Himself up instead of exalting Himself.
“Indeed there are those who are last who will be first,
and first who will be last.”
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