As I entered the reception area through the main door, a mistaken usher, knowing that I was a relative of the groom, asked me to go to the far end of the room and up a few steps onto the platform where the head table was beginning to fill with close relatives of the bride and groom.
As I uncertainly approached by the steps, someone quietly said to me, "Your name is by a plate at that table below the platform." Her kindness saved me from the embarrassment of arriving where I was not supposed to be. Smiling, I found my place of comparative humility, the place of rest for my soul.
Though Jesus had somewhat different circumstances in mind from those I experienced, He had the intent of teaching humility when He said:
Luke 14:8-11 – When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, "Give this man your seat." Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, "Friend, move up to a better place." Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. (NIV)
In His life on earth, Jesus did not just teach humility; He also became our example of humility. As the Son of God, He "being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness" (Philippians 2:6-7). Jesus, as a servant, "poured water into a basin … to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him" (John 13:5).
Jesus recommended that we follow His example: "Take my yoke upon you," He said, "and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:29).
The extremity of Jesus' humility is known in His giving of Himself as a ransom to buy us to God when we were astray under enemy ownership, "For even the Son of Man," He said, "did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45).
In appreciation for what Jesus has done for us, what can we be and do for Jesus and for our contemporary travellers in this world?
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, thank You that You died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring us to God. Cause us to love as You have loved us. May we lay down our lives, and all that we are and have, for You, as You have given Your all for us. Help us in our daily living to remember that we servants are not greater than our Lord, and yet, You will exalt us to the place of rest for our souls. In Your name, we pray. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "Work For The Night Is Coming" (Lyrics)