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The Lowly in Heart

The Lowly in Heart

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Published by glennpease

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 27, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Lowly in Heart
Humility was a rare virtue among theJews in Jesus' day. The seeds of vanityand conceit diligently sown by the rabbisthrough generations had yielded a nationof coxcombs. One true-blue Jew, to theirthinking, was worth more in the sight of God than all the heathen on the face of theearth. The Jews of Judea were better thanthe Jews of Galilee ; the rich Jews were bet-ter than the poor Jews; the elders werebetter than the people, and every Jew wasbetter than every other Jew. The most un-attractive thing about Jesus was his humil-102 The Life Worth Whileity. Even his disciples were slow to takehis yoke upon them and learn of him, forthey did not want to learn that he wasmeek and lowly in heart.Breathing such an atmosphere, it wasnatural that the chosen twelve should allowthemselves to think that they were superiorto the other disciples, and it was just asnatural that James and John should imag-ine that they were worthy of greater honorsthan the rest of the twelve. And whyshould not their mother think so too?But the very fact that it was natural madeit all the more dangerous, and our Lord
lost no time in showing these men theirperil and pointing out a better way. Sucha spirit, he told them plainly, was of theearth earthly. Heathen kings were accus-tomed to contend for place and to lord itover men, and among little men of theworld the man who lorded it over otherswas called a benefactor; but that was notThe Lowly in Hrart 103the way in which it would be looked uponin his kingdom. There is no greatness insticking one's self upon a pedestal to re-ceive the enforced homage of the great orthe voluntary homage of the small. oman is great who calls himself great, orinsists on being regarded as great. Theambition to lord it over others is born onlyin small men. True greatness shows it-self in service. It is service. In the eyes of God and in the judgment of all good menthe man who sets himself up, sets himself up because he is too small to be seen other-wise. That man is great who serves andthereby deserves to be enshrined in thehearts of the people, whether -he is en-shrined or not. In a word, that rnan isgreat who most resembles Christ, the ser-vant of men.But let us make no mistake about Christ.He is our humble servant, not a humiliatedservant. The picture of the Master wash-104 The Life Worth While
ing his disciples' feet is a picture of hu-mility, not a picture of humiliation. It isstrange that we should so often mistake onefor the other when there is no real resem-blance between them. Many a young manwill not come to Christ because he has gotit into his head that a life of service isinimicable to one's self-respect. Humilityis not a stooping to unworthy things ; it isnot that spirit which leads us to do any-thing we are ashamed of. It is simply lovehaving its way in lowly spheres. Jesuswashed his disciples' feet because he lovedhis disciples to the uttermost. If you loveyour child a little you will serve him insome things, but you will have a servant toattend to lowly duties. But if you loveyour child unto the uttermost you will finddelight in serving him in lowly ways; andwhen he is very sick and your love is there-by drawn out to the utmost you will wantto do the utmost for him with your ownThe Lowly in Heart 105hands ; and you will delight in doing forhim things which you would be ashamedto do for one whom you loved less. Hu-mility has no connection with shame ; whereshame is there is only humiliation.Again, humility is opposed to ostenta-tion. Strangely enough this act of Jesushas been interpreted as a theatrical exhi-bition. We are given to interpreting otherpeople's acts by our own feelings, and weremember how on one occasion when there

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