The humility of Christ (5)

Another feature of humility is when someone is not so much occupied with himself, but thinks more of others and their needs.

Christ’s baptism

John the Baptist, the forrunner of Jesus, had the great task to prepare the way of the Messiah. He did this by calling the people to repentance, as it is written: “There came John baptising in the wilderness, and preaching the baptism of repentance for remission of sins. And there went out to him all the district of Judaea, and all they of Jerusalem, and were baptised by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins” (Mk 1:4.5).

Those who acknowledged their moral misery before God came to John to take baptism. But while people were being baptized, suddenly something very special happened. “Then comes Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptised of him” (Matth 3:13). What? The Son of God, who was perfectly sinless and holy wants to be baptized by John? How is that possible? We understand John’s reaction when he said: “I have need to be baptised of thee; and comest thou to me?” (Matth 3:14) Giving baptism to Jesus in public would make it to look like as if He too would be a sinner who is in need of forgiveness of sins. Christ was the only sinless man who ever crossed this planet. There was no need for Him therefore to be baptized by John. Why then did he want to take that step anyway?

The answer is that Jesus didn’t think of his reputation before men; instead He had the desire to be identified with those who did the will of God. As it is written in the Psalms: “I am the companion of all that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts” (Ps 119:63). In His humility He wanted to take His place among them. They were the excellent of the earth because they followed the instructions of God (Ps 16:3). He wanted to show them His approval and be close to those who were of broken heart and a contrite spirit, as it is written: “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, and whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, and with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Isa 57:15).

Questions for us: Do we also want to be identified with those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit before God? Do we think more of our reputation or do we seek the fellowship of new converts who need help in the way of faith?


Article series: The humility of Christ

The humility of Christ (4) The humility of Christ (6)

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