In the third chapter of this book, Andrew Murray gets right down to the basics of his focus - Jesus' own humility in His life on earth. (How does one summarize a chapter based on that?) Murray begins with the citation of Jesus' key words about Himself in Luke 22:27: "I am among you as He that serves." Here are some of the other points the author makes in this relatively-brief chapter:
1. Jesus most fully described His relationship with His Father in John's Gospel. Jesus took the position of total subordination to God, to whom He gave all honor and glory which should have been due Him (Jesus). He lived and experienced what He taught in the example of the proud Pharisee and the humble publican in Luke 18:14: "He that humbles himself shall be exalted."
2. Murray cites eleven specific verses from John in which Jesus' humility is clear. Jesus spoke of being able to do nothing of Himself, that He came not to speak His own words or give Himself credit or glory, and even that He did not come of Himself or His own will. Making Himself as nothing and totally empty of self, Jesus gave God credit for everything, and made God all.
3. Jesus humbled Himself before God, who honored and worked all through His Son. That also allowed Jesus to humble Himself before men and to be God's instrument to them no matter what they said about or to Him or did to Him. That was the redemption that Christ brought to us, that WE might model His complete self-denial, doing nothing of ourselves, that God might be all. We must learn of Jesus and His meek lowliness; Christ teaches us that humility comes from "the knowledge that it is God who works all in all, that our place is to yield to Him in perfect resignation and dependence, in full consent to be and to do nothing of ourselves."
4. If we have trouble grasping this idea, we must seek Christ's example of humility more vigorously. It is not us, but Christ who lives humbly and meekly in us. We must learn from Him to be nothing but vessels which manifest God. "The root of all virtue and grace - of all faith and acceptable worship - is that we know that we have nothing but what we receive, and bow in deepest humility to wait upon God for it."
5. Humility was not a coming and going, waxing and waning phenomenon in Jesus. It was His basic nature, constant and never self-seeking in any way. His life was totally yielded to God. As His believers seek the fullness of Christ's nature, we must realize sadly how absent His humility tends to be in our lives. Everything, including "religion" the way we know it, must be set aside to obtain through Christ the humility that will truly mark His presence inside us.
6. Murray's last paragraph in this key chapter is worth quoting entirely: "Brother or sister, are you clothed with humility? Ask your daily life. Ask Jesus. Ask your friends. Ask the world. And begin to praise God that there is opened up to you in Jesus a heavenly humility of which you have hardly known, and through which a heavenly blessedness (which you possibly have never yet tasted) can come into you."
Brief Comment: Amen! This chapter shows the true essence of what this entire book is about. As such it is almost worth memorizing, and is certainly worth reading over and over again, including the Scriptures which Pastor Murray uses as evidence of Jesus' complete humility. Jesus was empty of self! How far we are from that! Only by His life in me (see Galatians 2:20) can we even begin to understand His humility.
I remember seeing this statement on Christian television several years ago: "JESUS WAS UNOFFENDABLE." When one says this, some people quickly (almost defensively!) point out that He threw merchants out of the temple. But Jesus had no tolerance for blasphemy of GOD, or hypocrisy among those claiming to be GODly; however, He took His own rejection and criticism pridelessly. His walk was not about Himself.
It is interesting to think of praising and thanking God specifically for Jesus' humility. How many of us have done that? That may be the first step in recognizing and inviting in divine humility into our own nature in Jesus Christ!
2/27/2014 02:42:59 am
This is such rich spiritual food. And Harv's last comment about thanking God for Jesus' humility... I was thinking of how we (I) take for granted so many of the Biblical truths. The Pharisees tried to stone Jesus when he called God his Father! They said that made Him equal with God. We use that father terminology all the time and it seems to mean little. But think of---God is YOUR Father??? So-o-o, YOU contain the DNA or the essence of God the Father? Munch on that for a while! Blessings, Grover
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Andrew Murray was a South African writer, teacher, and Christian pastor. Murray considered missions to be "the chief end of the church."
The Beauty of Holiness
“Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, where I can go in and shut the door, and kneel to my Father in secret, and am at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is trouble.”