Luke 9:46-50: A Lack of Humility
Jesus Christ is the greatest example and the greatest teacher of humility in human history. And the disciples like ourselves are in constant need of teaching on the evil of pride and the value of humility. We are in a section that is focusing in on the immaturity of the disciples and Christ’s attention to their discipleship and development. Christ has just addressed them on the matter of their lack of faith, as well as their lack of understanding, He now turns to the area of their lack of humility.
If you look up a definition of pride today, you will come across the traditional definition that defines it as a sin, ‘Pride, conceit, self-esteem, egotism, vanity, vainglory imply an unduly favourable idea of one’s own appearance, advantages, achievements, etc., and often apply to offensive characteristics. Pride is a lofty and often arrogant assumption of superiority in some respect: Pride must have a fall.’ But pride has also come to mean something positive, ‘a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.’ And, ‘consciousness of one’s own dignity.’ Or, ‘confidence and self-respect as expressed by members of a group, typically one that has been socially marginalized, on the basis of their shared identity, culture, and experience,’ and so gay pride is a thing. We live in an age that calls good evil and evil good and are in desperate need for God to help us see what pride and humility truly are.
The bible teaches us that pride was the first sin of the devil in exalting himself against God, seeking to be God. To deny God His proper place and seek to take His place or act inappropriately like Him is part of the heart of pride. It was with pride that the devil tempted Adam and Eve telling them that the fruit would make them more like God. Pride is the root of all sin, and the enemy of serving others in love. Every sin is an exaltation of self above God’s will where we seek our own desires and will, and think our own thoughts the definition of truth. So if you were going to train 12 men to be servant leaders, one of the key areas you would have to address would be the area of pride.
As we move through this next section we are going to note 5 characteristics of pride that are highlighted for us.