Summary: As disciples of Jesus we must humble ourselves
Dare to Be Humble
October 8, 2006
Several years ago I attended a wedding and it was beautiful with all of the pomp you expect at those kind of events. the reception was a bit of a problem. The main family had remained at the church for pictures and the rest of the guests went on to the reception. This is usually the way it works.
The bride and groom were dismayed to find that distant family members had taken the front tables and displaced the closest family members. The bride and groom’s close family were forced to sit in the back of the reception hall.
I can remember the bride making a comment about the situation: “Those people have a lot of nerve.” My first thought was that place cards should have been used.
The desire to have the best seats is a realatively natural thing for us. We crave the box seats at sporting events, courtside seats at the basketball game, 50 yard line tickets for football, front row seats for concerts and so on. In church, everyone seems to want the back seats.
The wanting the best place is one of those things that comes with the territory of human nature. Our problem boils down to really one issue: humility or maybe the lack of humility.
There seems to be a great deal of confusion about humility essecially in the church. So before I begin, I’d like to define what humility is not.
1.) Humility is not a devaluing of yourself
Jesus does not want you to think less of yourself. You are important to Him. In fact, you are s important to Him that He died for you. Humility is not a removal of your importance but rather changing your attitude toward your importance. We worry way too much about what people think of us and not nearly enough about what Christ thinks of us. in the end, whose opinion really matters? Humility is thinking of yourself less often. We are essentially self centered and as disciples we need to be more Christ centered.
2.) Humility is not a doubting of your abilities
The abilities and gifts that you have are a gift from God. If he didn’t want you to have them, you wouldn’t. Our problem is that we go to either one of two extremes. Either we use our gifts to promote ourselves or we don’t use them at all to allow others to be raised up. Christ expects you to use the talents and gifts you have been given for Him and His kingdom.
3.) Humility is not a denouncing of who you are
God made you and He wants you to be yourself. Too often, we buy into a false model of Christian living where we try to be someone we’re not. God made you to be you and you are every bit as important as anyone else. You fit into the eternal plan of God almighty. Be who God made you to be.
Humility is the determined demonstration of our recognition of God’s greatness and our smallness by comparison.
If you have your Bibles this morning open them to Luke 14:7-11
7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8 "When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, `Give this man your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, `Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." Luke 14:7-11
Jesus was attending a banquet and was watching the guests arrive and take their seats. There was obviously a scramble for the best seats at the table. The best seats were those that were places of honor. Jewish culture had a specific seating arrangement for banquets and festivities. The most important guest sat to the right of the host, the second most important guest sat to the left of the host and so on. As Jesus entered the banquet there were people trying to outdo each other for the choice seats at the head table.
Jesus had just witnessed human ego in action. We might not strive for the best seat but there are times when people strive for a lot less. I was at the grocery this past week and watched two cars try to fight for the best parking spot. They almost collided trying to get the spot. This is the same kind of nature that jesus witnessed that day.