Text: Matthew 23 (Genesis 45-46)
Jesus really takes issue with folks who try to build themselves up in comparison with others by their piety and righteous deeds, displays of knowledge and being generally puffed up. This issue concerns much of Matthew 23 and is directed to the religious leaders of the day. In His teaching on this Jesus gives us a powerful principle:
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. (Matthew 23:12)
This makes no sense in the mind of humans. To get to the top of the heap, of course it makes sense that one must climb upward. But Jesus says that is not so. Instead, the way for us to be lifted up by God, to be exalted, is to choose to step downward. We are called to humble ourselves. It is an act of our own will to choose to hold others as more important than ourselves, to place the needs an dwell being of other people ahead of our own, and to place the Lord’s agenda before our own. When we do humble ourselves, the most remarkable thing happens. It is as if we choose to go down the mountain, to crawl into the cave beneath, to first kneel, then to fall face down… only to find ourselves on the summit looking out across the beautiful world below, above the clouds in the sparkling sunshine. It makes no sense. But it is true. The way up is to descend. Humble yourself and you will be exalted.
in Him, Mike