The humility of Christ (4)

When Christ was here in this world He was the wisdom of God in person. That’s how He is presented in Proverbs 8. He could say: “I have more understanding than all my teachers; for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, because I have observed thy precepts” (Ps 119:99.100).

Nevertheless we find Him at the age of 12 how He was in the temple in Jerusalem listening to the Scribes and asking them questions instead of teaching them (Luke 2:46). In His humility He did what was fitting for His age. Only when they asked Him questions He gave them answers that amazed them. He did the right thing at the right time - a great example for all of us!

His parents didn’t understand why he had stayed back in Jerusalem in the temple. That’s why they reproached him when they finally returned. In spite of their lack of understanding we read the amazing statement: “And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and he was in subjection to them” (Lk 2:51). The creator of heaven and earth was in subjection to His own creatures! What a humility we see in the life of Jesus. During all the years of His youth He didn’t rebell against His parents but instead helped them and became a carpenter as his father Joseph. He didn’t study at the feet of Gamaliel or tried to get a PHD but worked with His hands to earn His daily bread. He was truly lowly in heart!

His lowly mind is also seen in the contacts that He had with people. Many times we find Him in touch with poor people and with those who were despised and cast out from the jewish society. He had come to preach glad tidings to the poor. We see him in the house of Simon Peter a simple fishermen or in the house of Levi the despised tax-collector. He was willing to be served by a prostitute who washed his feet with her hair. Through His humility He attracted the outsiders of the people. In Luke 15:1 it says: “And all the tax-gatherers and the sinners were coming near to him to hear him” (Lk 15:1). But the result of this was that the was attacked by his adversaries: “And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, This man receives sinners and eats with them.“ (Lk 15:2)

If we follow Christ’s example we don’t have to expect to get praises from men. Christ was misunderstood and so will we. It is a challenge for all of us to reach out to people who are outsiders or despised in society. But that’s exactly what we should do. To imitate the mind of Christ also includes to be identified with such persons and to win them for heaven. We shouldn’t strive for being in touch only with those who have the same social standard as we have. Christ was available and in touch with the poor and needy and so should we.

The Lord said: “When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, nor thy kinsfolk, nor rich neighbours, lest it may be they also should invite thee in return, and a recompense be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call poor, crippled, lame, blind: and thou shalt be blessed; for they have not the means to recompense thee; for it shall be recompensed thee in the resurrection of the just.” (Lk 12:12-14)


Article series: The humility of Christ

The humility of Christ (3) The humility of Christ (5)

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