To Be Abased, or to Be Exalted? (Part 2 of 2)

At the end of pride is a great fall!  After humility, there is honor.

June 29, 2020

"And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased, and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted."

Matthew 23:12

Part 2

“And whosoever shall exalt himself.”
Beware of puffing up yourself.  Arrogance is dangerous, just ask Aesop’s toad.

“Shall be abased.”
After pride, the fall comes.  The higher one gets, the greater the fall!

“And he that shall humble himself.”
“Shall humble himself.”  There seem to be two choices in this verse.  Either humble yourself or be humbled by God.  In today’s culture, we have it totally wrong when it comes to humility and leadership.

“But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.  It shall not be so among you.  But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’” (Matthew 20:26-28).

When we try to exalt ourselves, we are like lost, pagan sinners (the Gentiles).  Believers, we are looking at lives of service instead of being served.

Without self-humbling, there is no entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven.  Jesus said,

“…Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.  Whosoever, therefore, shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3-4).

“Shall be exalted.”
What plans our Lord must have for us!  This word “exalted” in the ancient language means “to lift up on high, to exalt.”  “Metaphorically,” it implies, “to raise to the very summit of opulence and prosperity…to exalt, to raise to dignity, honor, and happiness” (Thayer).

Jesus has already given us a sneak peek at what is coming.

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:2-3).

Eternity with Jesus is coming, but not yet.

“The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility” (Proverbs 15:33).

Jesus has told us the self-exalted will be put down, and those humbling themselves will be exalted.  His statement is true.  We may not see it completely fulfilled in our lifetime, but we are patient, for we know that eternity is coming.  There, all of God’s promises not fulfilled on earth already, now will come to pass.


Quote:  The Apostle Paul was probably the greatest of the apostles.  But what was his attitude about himself?  “I am chief [of sinners].”  “[I] am less than the least of all saints.”  “I am the least of the apostles.”  And he meant it.  We need to think humbly about ourselves as well.[1]




[1] Paul’s statements respectively: 1 Timothy 1:15; Ephesians 3:8; 1 Corinthians 15:9.