A PARABLE OF HUMILITY

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to visit this site.  In this series “The Parables” we are studying the parables of Jesus Christ, which he taught to his disciples.  They cover many different areas of the Christian way of life and give us positive direction and instruction into the principles of the kingdom.  In many parables he says, “the kingdom of heaven is like unto” or a similar phrase to let us know what he is about to teach is spiritual and relates to the kingdom of God as it pertains to us.  These teachings, even though they are simple at a glance, are very profound and deep.  They are God’s revealed truths that have been kept secret from the beginning of the world!

 

“And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them, [8] When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; [9] And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. [10] But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. [11] For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” Luke 14:7-11 (KJV) 

 

The word humility in this parable means to abase or bring low. It comes from the idea that the humble person will seek to take the lowest rather than the highest seat.  He/she will prefer others to their own interests.  Sound like a disaster waiting to happen?  You might be surprised to find that the opposite is true.  It is a success waiting to happen!  To better understand this we need to look at the opposite of humility, which is pride.  The word pride means appearing above others.  It is exposed in the person who desires the best seat at the banquet to be seen of others.  This desire is something that will cause much hurt too because it is the wrong attitude to have.  This parable is about one person who seeks the low place at a banquet and one who seeks the high place.  One is humble and the other is proud.  Let’s look at this further and examine the thought process behind each of these people.  Let’s look at the proud person first and see what goes through his mind.

 

Pride

 

“The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” Psalm 10:4 (KJV) 

 

Here we have a little insight into the thoughts of a prideful person.  Remember, the prideful man wanted the best seat?  He had a plan for his life outside of God.  He wanted to elevate himself by his own ability and wisdom, which is a dangerous way to go.  Now I know that a banquet isn’t that big of a deal to most people but Jesus wasn’t talking about the banquet, he was teaching us about an attitude.  The proud do not have God in all of their thoughts.  Notice he didn’t say that they don’t think about God, he said God is not in all of their thoughts.  The proud have an attitude which says, “I’ll do it my own way.”  The humble on the other hand have a different way of looking at life.  They look at life through God’s eyeglass.

 

Question #1  What is your definition of pride?

 

Humility

 

“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:6 (KJV) 

 

Here is the attitude of humility.  It is a way of thinking that says, “I don’t know what is best for me; I will trust the Lord God with my future.”  This kind of attitude is powerful because it will get the attention of God.  It does not however mean that we shouldn’t do our best in everything we do.  We should.  It goes deeper however than talent and ability it goes to attitude.  In truth you and I can’t change very much.  There is only one thing we can change, our attitude.  Humility does just that.  Humility senses a total dependence on God in everything.  You see, some people may think they are better than they really are.  This is self-deception.  Have you ever met a know-it-all, a get it done in my own power person, someone that wants to be the leader at any cost or a truly vain person?  If you have then you know exactly where I am coming from.  These attitudes are the opposite of humility.  Humility senses a complete dependence upon God.  It knows how low it really is.  Humility considers God in everything it does, because it knows that HE is the only one who can truly promote. 

 

“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5 (KJV) 

 

When true humility exists in a persons’ life something happens in the realm of God’s kingdom.  Grace is poured out.  Grace is divine help.  It is God interacting with those who have a complete dependence upon him for their direction.  The New Testament church was a beautiful example of humility and God’s grace.  They did things that no earthly human beings could do.  They went so much higher than pride could have ever taken them that it was astounding.

 

“And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” Acts 4:33 (KJV) 

 

If we look at the things which happened in this church we would see healings, the dead raised to life, miracles, signs from God and a revival church that is envied today.  How could they go so high in a state of power to accomplish these things?  The only way was to first go down low, all the way to humility.  Humility is the reason.  Humility is the acting out of complete trust in the Lord.  Pride is the acting out of trust in self.  Which one would you have confidence in, yourself or God?  The answer will be very telling.

 

Question #2  What is your definition of humility?

 

The Parable

 

Jesus taught the power of humility and the weakness of pride in this parable.  He gives us wise instruction how to conduct ourselves in life.  Picture if you will a banquet setting in which there are high-class seats along with less important ones all the way to the cheep seats.  Some seats represent honor and prestige and others a low class level.  Upon entering the banquet hall you perceive the different locations and importance of the seats.  What is your first thought as to where you will sit?  This is message that the master was teaching.  Do you really want to sit in the prominent seat or take a lesser one and be unnoticed?  If you want the prominent seat and rush over and sit down in it without regard to anyone else you may be in for a surprise for pride has a way of bringing you down.  It has way of deflating you from the lofty position that you have put yourself in.  After being seated the possibility exists that you may be asked to move to a lower place so that someone of greater importance can be seated.  What a humiliating experience that would be!  Especially for someone who is filled with pride and a desire to be at the top.  People who put themselves at the top have only one way to go, down.  On the other hand if you take the back seat in humility you have only one way to go, up!  Which way would you rather go?  As he finished this parable Jesus made a statement that tells it all.

 

“For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

 

He plainly said that God is watching all of us and that a principle will always apply to the proud and to the humble.  Whoever is proud will go down.  Whoever is humble will go up.  Which way would you like to go?  I would like to go up, not by my own wisdom but by God’s grace.  When Pride takes you up it is only temporary.  When grace lifts you up, it is permanent.  I could use many stories in the Bible to prove this point but for the sake of space I will use but two.  First. in the book of Esther we find such a story.  Haman was operating in his pride and Mordecai in his humility.

 

 “Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends unto him, Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and to morrow speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go thou in merrily with the king unto the banquet. And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made.” Esther 5:14 (KJV) 

 

“So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king’s wrath pacified. Esther 7:10 (KJV) 

 

Results Of Pride

 

“On that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the Jews’ enemy unto Esther the queen. And Mordecai came before the king; for Esther had told what he was unto her. [2] And the king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.” Esther 8:1-2 (KJV) 

 

Results of Humility

 

Secondly, in the book of Numbers it was Korah who acted in pride and Moses who acted with humility.  Korah rose up against Moses to overthrow his God given authority and was ultimately defeated.  Moses was blessed and retained his position permanently.

 

“And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord? PRIDE (my emphasis) [4] And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face:” HUMILITY (my emphasis) Numbers 16:3-4 (KJV) 

 

“And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them: [32] And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. [33] They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.” Numbers 16:31-33 (KJV) 

 

Which Direction Would You Like to Go?

 

Korah went down and Moses went up.  God’s principle of elevation proved again that pride never goes up and humility never goes down.  With this in mind we can receive great wisdom about living life the right way.  We hear much about violence, gang activity, broken homes and generally people taking things into their own hands.  Yet we never see them going up or being blessed.  The reason is simple; pride is set to go down.  If you are living your life with a prideful attitude now is the time to consider this parable.  God has a beautiful plan for you that is wonderful which includes humility.

 

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32 (KJV) 

 

Jesus can and will give this abundant life when he is approached in humility.

 

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 (KJV) 

 

The thief is attracted to pride but Jesus is attracted to humility.  When he comes, he brings abundant life without the shackles of pride and destruction.

 

Question #3  Explain the value of humility in your own words.

 

Conclusion

 

The humble person is very powerful because he/she is are trusting in God and has self-control.  A prideful person is very weak because he/she is given over to the desires of the flesh and has no self-control.  Jesus taught this parable to show us the difference.  He wants to give us happiness and fulfillment through the power of humility.  When we put our trust in the Lord we will never be disappointed.  When we put our trust in our own ability we will always fall short.

 

Thanks for stopping by and going through this lesson.  I trust that it has been a blessing to you.  If you know a friend that would benefit from it please let them know.  Also I would love to hear from you.  Any comments or questions that you have would be greatly appreciated.  You may leave them by clicking here and sending them to me.  May God richly bless you.

 

Sincerely,

 

Greg Wirths

 

Focus on Freedom

 

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