The Messiah’s Humble Example

Selfishness is a struggle for all of us. It’s at the heart of most of what we do, and to make matters worse, we are blind to it. Jesus often addressed our inherent selfishness in His teaching, e.g., when He emphasized that the first will be last and the last will be first (Mt 19:30). He also told His disciples that they should be less like the Gentile rulers who bask in their authority and control and more like a servant or slave whose decision and actions are determined by the wills of others (Mt 20:25-28). But teaching on the evils of selfishness is easy to do, isn’t it? I can do that, but that doesn’t guarantee that I will be selfless myself. But Jesus is different. He didn’t only speak to our selfishness, He also showed us by His example what selflessness looks like. In Matthew 20 when Jesus addressed the self-centeredness of human rulers and encourages the demeanor of a slave, He showed His disciples what that looked like by showing compassion to a couple of blind men, outcasts of society. As they begged by the road, the crowd had no time for them. In fact, when those blind men cried out to Jesus, the crowd sternly reprimanded them. But Jesus served even these outcasts not only with compassion but with healing. In other words, He exemplified the very teaching He had just given to His disciples (an important strategy to undergird any of our teaching). But Jesus showed the greatest example of selflessness on the cross at His death. It’s an event He predicted and prepared the disciples for in Matthew 20. And in Philippians 2:5-11 Paul drew on the cross as the culmination of Jesus’s example of selflessness. But the best thing about Jesus’s humiliation and selfless service is what God has been doing following His death. Although Jesus humbled Himself and became a servant, God is exalting Christ (Php 2:9-11). It’s an important biblical principle: Don’t exalt yourself; let God do it. We live in a world where social media encourages us not to serve, but to be served. Instead of pursuing the anonymity of service, we are encouraged to pursue the glory of making a name for ourselves. But Jesus and His way are different. May God change our hearts to selflessly follow the humble and serving example of Jesus so we stand out in a world of self-promotion. –Pastor Rory

Sunday at Liberty

10AM: Pastor Rory–Matthew 20:17-34–The Messiah’s Humble Example (sermon notes)

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