But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. – Matthew 23.11-12
We live in a great day of self-promotion. I know of course that this has gone on for a long, long time, but our social media generation has made self-promotion easier than ever. How many likes or share can we get with our posts about ourselves? What kind of lovely comments can we garner with the right selfie?
Although it is easier now this is nothing new. Man always likes to be exalted in some way and if can’t anyone else to exalt we will just do it for ourselves.
Jesus talks about the topsy-turvy paradox of Christian faith here. Those who the greatest amongst us and those who spend their lives exalting themselves will be brought low.
In another place Jesus uses the illustration of a man going into a dinner and assuming he is going to be seated as the guest of honour and taking that seat. The host then tells him he has to move and takes the person in the lowest seat and moves him to the guest of honour’s place.
Humility and meekness are key Christian virtues. It goes much further than a place at the table. It talks about putting others first in every aspect of our lives. It talks about us taking the back seat in the every circumstance that we face. It means that we serve instead of being served. It means we elevate others and not ourselves.