The Book of Luke, John the Baptist, Part VI  Ė Lesson 28

  1. e Book of Daniel, Introduction to the Book of Dani

I Cor 10:12,  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

 

Proverbs 16:18, Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

 

Godís word was again found to be true as we were witness to events in Iraq where it was shown again that a man who exalts himself shall be humbled.  

 

Jesus said in;  Luke 14:11,  For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

 

My, how Saddam Hussein of Iraq exalted himself in lifting himself up thoughout the country as he displaying images and statues of himself in every possible way and place. 

 

But God will have his way and Godís principles will eventually be evidenced and obvious in every situation and in time Godís righteousness will be displayed.

 

Saddam Hussein was not a believer in the true God for had he been a believer in the true God he would have been a humble man.

 

A humble man does not erect statues and post pictures of his likeness, that is for others to do when he is long departed, if he has earned such honor from his country.

 

Those self erected images do not last beyond the lifetime of the proud man for they are soon discarded into the trashbin of history as we have seen this week.

 

Before we continue our discussion of the truly humble man of scripture named John the Baptizer, lets look at the dictionary definition of humility.  

 

For this definition should bring us to see ourselves as we are for definition forces us to compare ourselves with a standard.

 

It is always good to define things.

 

To make humble or lowly in mind; to abase the pride of; to reduce arrogance and self dependence; to give a low opinion of oneís moral worth; to make meek and submissive to the divine will;

 

Humility is opposed to proud, haughty, arrogant, or assuming. In an evangelistic sense having a low opinion of oneís self, and a deep sense of unworthiness in the sight of God.

 

Humility is not welcome in this age of self worth, and self escalation, and self esteem. 

 

On the contrary esteem of self is promoted and in fact demanded.

 

But humility is alien to our culture and will not be rewarded.               

 

John Bunyan (1628Ė1688) wtote the following

     He that is down needs fear no fall,

He that is low, no pride;

He that is humble ever shall

Have God to be his guide.

 

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834Ė1892)

     He whose garments are the whitest will best perceive the spots upon them. He whose crown shines the brightest will know when he has lost a jewel. He who gives the most light to the world will always be able to discover his own darkness.

 

It is easily seen in the scriptures that John the Baptist was a humble man and he fit well in the definitions that we have just read. 

 

As a humble man John knew his place in Godís order.  

 

For he knew that in Godís order a man does Godís will in lieu of his own will. 

 

A humble manís will is abased and Godís will abounds.

 

A man of humility knows that his purpose is to do Godís will and that to do Godís will requires power from outside himself. 

 

A man of humility does not depend upon any power within himself but he depends on the power of God to do Godís will.

 

A man of humility has a low opinion of himself and that low opinion of himself causes him to go to God for power to do Godís work. 

 

A man who has a high opinion of himself does not need God and thinks that he can do it all by himself.

 

He is a self made man.  But God desires God made men to serve Him. 

 

God desires men to be made by him in the likeness of his Son.

 

But John, a God made man, showed his deep humility on several occasions that Luke presents.

 

The first is when Johnís ministry had become widely acclaimed and expectations of the coming of the Messiah were very high.

 

Note Johnís response, as recorded by Luke:

 

Luke 3:15-16,  And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; 16John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose:

 

John saw himself as not even high enough in the scheme of things to perform the lowliest of tasks, that of doing the job of the lowest servant, loosening the straps of the sandals of the Messiah.

 

A lesser man, a modern man would have taken advantage of this situation and not taken so clear a position and let people continue to think that he was the Messiah.

 

Perhaps I will delay my response to this and gain some stature, he could have said.

 

But John, never once hedged, but he quickly corrected any  misconception of the people and pointed their attention and devotion toward the Messiah, and away from himself.

 

The second occasion on which Johnís humility became evident was after the appearance of Jesus, when His public ministry had started.

 

Immediately the ministry of Jesus began to overshadow Johnís ministry.

 

His disciples were baptizing more than Johnís, and His ministry was attracting more followers.

 

John is at his finest for his deep humility is evident, as recorded in the last part of John chapter 3.

 

It is no wonder that Jesus lifted up John as the greatest of prophets. 

 

John was truly a giant among the prophets and it could be  somewhat of a lessening of him to have him described in what we know as the New Testament for it separates him in our minds from the prophets of the Old Testament.

 

But John always with a spirit of grace, accepted his role and rejoiced in the success of his Savior.

 

He was, indeed, a man of deep humility.

 

As a servant, John provides all of us with a model of servanthood and that model is totally based upon humility.

 

His life was testimony to the fact that John believed with all his heart that, ďHe must increase, but I must decreaseĒ.