A Humble Spirit

October 8, 2021

Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him. And He said to her, "What do you wish?" She said to Him, "Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom" (Matthew 20:20-21).

Pastor John Piper wrote, “Today the first and greatest commandment is, ‘Thou shalt love thyself.’ And the explanation for almost every interpersonal problem is thought to lie in someone’s low self-esteem. Sermons, articles, and books have pushed this idea into the Christian mind. It is a rare congregation, for example, that does not stumble over the ‘vermicular theology’ of Isaac Watts’s ‘Alas! And Did My Saviour Bleed’; ‘Would He devote that sacred head/For such a worm as I?’” (“Is Self-Love Biblical?” Christianity Today, August 12, 1977, p. 6). Modern critics accuse Evangelical Christianity of making victims out of people by promoting a ‘worm theology’ in preaching and teaching the doctrine of the spiritual depravity of man.

What we see and hear today is humanism - the elimination of God and the elevation of man. But that’s been around since the Garden of Eden. So has the elevation of religion and the elimination of a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Someone wrote, “The cross of popular Evangelicalism is not the cross of the New Testament. It is, rather, a bright ornament upon the bosom of the self-assured and carnal Christian whose hands are indeed the hands of Abel, but whose voice is the voice of Cain. The old cross slew men; the new cross entertains them. The old cross condemns; the new cross assures. The old cross destroyed confidence in the flesh; the new cross encourages it. The old cross brought tears and blood; the new cross brings laughter. The flesh, smiling and confident, preaches and sings about the cross, and before that cross it bows and toward that cross it points with carefully staged histrionics, but upon that cross it will not die and the reproach of that cross it stubbornly refuses to bear.”

Jesus did not go to the cross arrogantly, but humbly. He did not go to the cross a conquering hero, but a suffering servant. He did not go to the cross singing and dancing and shouting hallelujah, but went broken, bleeding, and bearing our sin. He did not go to the cross a victim of men, He went to the cross the Son of God!

James and John, and their mother, came to Jesus requesting that He exalt them to the highest positions of greatness in His Kingdom. Jesus would tell them (Matthew 23:11-12) He who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted

“Give me, O Lord, a spirit of humility, realizing that without You I am nothing, I have nothing, and I achieve nothing. Give me the spirit of John who said concerning Jesus, ‘He must increase, but I must decrease.’ To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.”


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