Our Humble Savior Matthew 26:47-56

Matthew 26:47-56

Introduction:  There’s a fine line between humility and false humility. 

Moses is called the most humble man to have ever walked the earth. (Num. 12:3)

  • That character trait must have been part of what God used to transform him into the leader of Israel
    • Leading by example and not just barking orders
  • We don’t have a lot of specific examples of his humility to point to
    • Kind of proves the point since Moses wrote Gen-Dt.

False humility:  Ahaz in Isaiah 7

  • Ask a sign
  • Ahaz:  I wouldn’t dream of putting God to the test!
    • When God tells you to do something—no matter what it is, no matter if it’s just a sign for the benefit of your faith; whatever God tells you to do:  DO IT
    • Not doing it—not asking for a sign is disobedience and false humility
    • Moses actually did this a little bit too when the burning bush spoke and said go to pharaoh, but Moses said, “who am I?”
  • Like Moses, Ahaz failed to understand that it’s not about who you are, it’s about who God is
    • As believers we act out of knowing God’s will and knowing God will equip us

Moses was the most humble man to walk the earth—until Jesus.

  • Humility marked his earthly life
    • Impoverished birth—2 birds for his purification offering
    • Life without a home–And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
    • And here in this passage there’s extreme humility:
      • Before his betrayer and former friend Judas—allows himself to be arrested
      • Before his disciples—he tells Peter, “sheath your sword”
      • Before his arresters—don’t you think that I could call upon my father and he wouldn’t send 12 legions of angels to rescue me
  • What would cause Jesus to willingly, passively allow himself to be arrested?
    • He didn’t even try to run, much less fight (like Peter who cut off the servant’s ear [John 18])
      • Po-Po!  5.0! –the guys on Federal Street
      • The disciples left him and fled
  • So why did Jesus simply allow himself to be arrested, beaten, and crucified?
    • In v 56 Jesus says, “in order to fulfill scripture”
      • Like the prophet Ezekiel whose “forehead was made harder than flint—like diamond”
      •  Jesus was determined to do what the scriptures required
    • And he allowed himself to be arrested to obey his father, or we can say it another way, to redeem his people which is what the Father sent him to do
      • John 14:31  but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.
    • Jesus saying he does what the Father commands and he does what the Scriptures teach shows us that Jesus believed the Bible is God’s word.  That’s a pretty solid point in demonstrating the truthfulness of scripture.

As it concerns us in this passage, Jesus humbled himself before the elders, the chief priests, and Judas Iscariot because he was humbling himself to God.  I. Know yourself;  II.  Humble yourself

  1. Know yourself
    1. Jesus knew himself better than any person ever
      1. Where he was from
      1. Who he really was
      1. Who he was called to be—the Christ/the Messiah
        1. Anointed for a specific purpose—to sacrificially serve God by serving his people.
    1. We need to know the same things, but we’re of much humbler origins.
      1. Where we’re from—sinners born in sin, in one sense we’re from hell because that’s what we truly deserve.  We’re children of the devil until conversion.
      1. Who we really are—made in the image of God
        1. That means we were created to glorify God, we exist. to. please. him.
        1. Innate worth rather than external worth
          1. Innate because God’s image is in us, part of us—all of us is in God’s image, and all of us are God’s image bearers
            1. External worth is based on what value you bring to the tatble as it were
              1. The weak, infirmed, disabled, elderly and young have a much lower external worth
          1. But because all humans are made in the image of God, everyone has the same innate, unchangeable value
        1. Knowing who you really are, knowing you are made in God’s image, knowing your innate worth makes you able to humble yourself b/c you know being made lower than another person doesn’t change anything about your value (just your self-perception)
        1. Knowing that everyone else has that same  innate worth makes it necessary for you to humbly serve them as a way to glorify God
          1. Serving them like Jesus glorified God by saving his people
      1. Who we’re called to be—Christians
        1. Called from death into life
          1. True humility can only be granted by the Holy Spirit
          1. To serve for no other reason, than to serve
          1. To love the unloveable for the sake of loving them
            1. Chuck and Jimmie Lynn
        1. Called into the new life, to live by the power of Jesus’ resurrection
          1. The resurrection of God the Son which could happen because the one who John says “in him was life and his life was the light of men” had died
        1. We’ve been called to life in Christ, to Jesus’ heavenly humble ethic, and love.  Eph. 4:1  “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
  2. Humble yourself—our approach, Php. 2:1-8  the example of Jesus’ humility is something to emulate
    1. The book of Php is about how the church is best when she serves for sake of serving loves for the sake of loving.  Like Jesus served his people—all in submission to God’s word—The Son of Man came to serve and not be served.
      1. We can summarize Php 1-3
        1.  Paul’s humiliation in prison,Jesus’ humiliation in death,And the mutual call to walk in humility like Paul and Jesus
        So, once we get to Ch. 4, we should see that there was probably a bit of pride and arrogance in the church for Paul to place so much emphasis on humility in this letter.
        1. He didn’t just write to a vacuum—he wrote for a purpose.  The church in Philippi had a problem with pride.And no one has felt the brunt of this letter for 2000 years like our dear sisters Euodia and Syntyche.4:2  “for I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord.” They may have referred to 2:3 to help them iron out their differences: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.Syntyche would have to look at Euodia’s project or personality fault and humble herself, to serve her sister. 
          1. Euodia would have to humble herself before whatever it was about Syntyche that rubbed her the wrong way, and get along. Both of them would have to understand that “agreeing in the Lord” is a very wide road and it looks different to different people—accepting that will mean being humble as well.
        Humility, like wisdom, looks different to different people, and looks different in different situations.
      Humbling yourself
      1. Jesus “emptied himself and became man”
        1. He didn’t empty himself of his divinity as some people have taughtHe emptied himself of the prestige and position as the second person of the godheadFor many of us—the act of emptying ourselves like that, if we could do it all, would ironically become a source of prideNot for Jesus—that was just the beginning.“He humbled himself by beoming obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross.”
        Humbling yourself is lowering yourself for others
        1. Start by recognizing your prideBe aware of how you feel toward the people you are talking to
          1. Pity—can point to putting yourself on a pedestalCondescension—might mean you believe they aren’t smart enough to understand youLove—pity that seeks to lift;  condescension that is godly, getting down into their situation and life to grieve and rejoice (Rom. 12:15).  Only a humble person can truly love.
          Be aware that if you believe yourself to be humble, you’re probably not.
          1. MJ Hubbard often described others as “humble” and “servants”Took care of his mother, wife #1, and wife #2 (he met in the nursing home while visiting wife #1 in her final days); prayed entire psalms without any effort and the most humble person I’ve ever known.The truly humble—like Moses in not including any stories about his humility—likely would never think of themselves as humble.
        Lower yourself in relationships—make yourself smaller, let the other person take center stage (medium.com blog post: Make yourself smaller. I don’t recommend reading Medium as it is full of materials unhelpful for the Christian, but this was helpful for me.)
        1. Stop talking—this is essential if you’re going to have a relationship with someone.  If you’re the only one talking, it’s a sermon, not a conversation. Listen. Just listen.
          1. Sometimes we treat “stop talking” as the means to getting to “start talking again”.Nope.  That’s not it. Just listen, so that you learn.
          This one’s crucial for some of you—don’t take center stage.
          1. You didn’t talk.  You listened, you might have even listened a little longer than you normally would have, but then when you talk…You identify something that was said that you have a story that can relate, kind of, at least in your mind.It might start with, “that reminds me of the time…” Or “I had the same experience when”You might steal the scene in a different way by immediately jumping in with your expert opinion—“Let me tell you what you should do…”
          Wait.  This one’s hard for most of us.  Wait, if the conversation is important and especially if it’s deep or emotionally charged, there will be significant pauses where we are trying to put words to our feelings and thoughts.  WAIT.
    1. Serve others—Php. 2:3, “make their interests more important than your own”.
      1. Their time more important than your time
      1. Their thoughts…
      1. Their family, work, happiness …

Jesus, knowing what it meant that he was being arrested, namely, physical suffering and death.  Emotional suffering in isolation as all his friends ran away and left him.  And Spiritual suffering being punished as a sinner by his Holy Father in heaven, but also the spiritual suffering of being the holy, blameless, and sinless lamb of God who was about to be made sin itself.  To go from purity to filthiness.  From perfection to the furthest from perfection any being can get—that’s true spiritual suffering.  That’s hell. 

And He willingly did that, he humbled himself for sinners, for his sinners.  He’s called you to follow his example, and he’s equipped his people with his Spirit to humiliate themselves for the sake of others.  May we all walk worthy of our callings and be humble like our humble savior.  Amen.

425 Bread of the World in Mercy Broken

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.  

 And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried; he descended into hell, the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. 

I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic* Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting.  Amen.

398 Christ Whose Glory Fills the Skies Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.