An Encounter with Humility

From the LYWB.com Team: We’re shaking things up a bit round here on the Lies blog. Instead of blog posts, we’re leading you through an online Bible study. The study comes from Erin’s newest books, A Beautiful Story and Beautiful Encounters. You don’t need copies of the books to participate, just yourself and your Bible. We will return to regularly scheduled programming October 9. Grab your Bible (and maybe your journal and a pen), and join us as we look at Jesus through the eyes of four New Testament women. (Psst . . . be sure to keep reading for your chance to win signed copies of A Beautiful Story and Beautiful Encounters.)

Perhaps when you think of royalty, you imagine the fairy tale variety with a sprawling castle, huge throne, and great power. Maybe you imagine the modern royal family of Great Britain with their wedding spectaculars and endless stream of adorable kid pics. Either way, most of us think of power, authority, and celebrity status when we envision royalty.

Jesus has a way of turning our perspective upside down. Grab your Bible or click over to an online version like biblegateway.com, and read Revelation 19:16.

Jesus is a king all right! The Bible describes Him as the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Power? Check.
Riches? Check.
Fame? Check!

And yet Jesus didn’t flaunt this while on earth. Instead, He demonstrated incredible humility.

Humili-what?

Humility is hard for us to understand because we live in a culture that places great value on achievement, fame, and wealth. The people we consider to be the greatest tend to be the ones who have much, not the ones who serve much.

Yet Jesus modeled humility, and He calls us to live humbly, too.

Every step of the way, in every single encounter, Jesus responded to people with grace and humility.

My favorite definition for humility is that humility isn’t thinking less of ourselves, it’s thinking of ourselves less. Put in an equation, humility means you > me.

Every step of the way, in every single encounter, Jesus responded to people with grace and humility. He did not demand worship or flaunt His divinity. He wasn’t concerned with gaining wealth and power. Instead, He humbly served others.

Reality Check

Read Matthew 20:20–23.

The woman in this story is Salome. She was the mother of James and John, two of the first men that Jesus called to be among His twelve disciples. They had seen Jesus perform miracles and heard Him preach on the kingdom of God. They believed that Jesus would one day rule the earth as king. Salome’s request was for her sons to have power, prestige, and authority once Jesus sat on a physical throne.

Read Jesus’ response in Matthew 20:23–28.

Here’s the big idea: “But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (vv. 26–28).

The way to be great is to serve.
The way to be great is to serve.
The way to be great is to serve.

We need to hear this often to get it through our thick skulls. God has called us to a way of living that feels upside down and topsy-turvy. We don’t get ahead by following Salome’s lead and asking for positions of power. We get ahead by following Jesus’ lead and serving others.

God has called us to a way of living that feels upside down and topsy-turvy.

Did Salome learn the lessons that Jesus came to teach? You can find out for yourself by reading Mark 15:37–41 and 16:1. (Hint: She did!)

I’m less concerned with Salome and more concerned with you and me. Do we know we serve a Savior who came to serve and not to be served? Do we understand that doing the same is what it takes to live like Christ? Not just once in awhile, not just when it’s convenient, but every day in a million ways that no one will likely thank us for?

What has God taught you about humility and serving others? Leave me a comment with your honest answer below. I’ll choose one of you to win signed copies of A Beautiful Story and Beautiful Encounters.

PS: Thanks so much for being a part of our first ever LYWB.com online Bible study. We had a blast with you! If you’d like to do more online Bible studies, let us know. We’d love to hear your ideas for what to study next.

About Author

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Erin is passionate about pointing young women toward God's Truth. She is the author of several books and a frequent speaker and blogger to women of all ages. Erin lives on a small farm in the midwest with her husband and kids. When she's not writing, you can find her herding goats, chickens, and children.

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