Oct. 7, 09
Luke 3: 16 I baptize you with water; but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am – so much greater that I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandals.
I was struck this morning with John the Baptist’s humility. Thi
s chapter contains a huge litany of the lineage of Jesus all the way back to Adam. It seems dreadfully detailed to us, and largely unnecessary, but for the Jews it was paramount that Jesus be connected by blood to Adam. All that aside, I am struck with John’s humility.
To admit that Jesus is greater than John might be expected, but when he mentions that he is not even worthy to untie the laces on his sandals, brings a different level of humility. It alludes to and informs the disciples debate some years later when they argue about who would wash their dusty feet when they enter the upper room.
To even admit that you are humble…raises questions about the sincerity of that admission. I’d like to think I’m humble, but thinking so makes me wonder if I really am. It is such a delicate balancing act to maintain some level of humility, and yet drawing on enough self-confidence to accomplish whatever task (or life itself) that one faces. And heaven knows the world is full of Pharisees who claim to be humble, yet whose lives belie that claim. (I know, for I am often one) I think a false sense or presentation of humility is really nothing more than Spiritual Pride.
It seems to me that living from a center of appropriate humility begins and ends with our understanding, and comparison to Jesus. We don’t measure ourselves against our colleagues, friends, enemies or celebrities; we measure ourselves against Jesus. In that ‘contest’, we are all unworthy.
Lord, help me live appropriately humble today. I know that I’m nothing more than a sinner saved by grace. I also know that I’ve been saved, gifted, called, and empowered to fulfill a planned purpose on this earth. All those come from you, so help me be what you’ve called me to be…all the while maintaining appropriate humility. Amen