We all face different temptations to pride.
One thing I have found that sometimes keeps pride in check however is how obvious it is we have no reason to be proud. For example, if you preach a sermon people say was helpful and you are tempted to become proud, it helps as you remember how absolutely impossible it is on your own to accomplish anything of lasting value. You have spent some time with you, so when people treat you better than you deserve, you know it’s better than you deserve.
But, think about Jesus.
I mean, imagine the possible temptation Jesus could have faced to be proud, in that as He looked at Himself, He actually was deserving of honor.
We sometimes read the Scriptures and want to act as if they were all about us, but then we realize of course, that we are just a part of the big picture and not at the absolute center.
But as Jesus read the Bible, it really was all about Him!
All the law, all the prophets, all the writings, it all centers on Jesus.
Further, as Jonathan Edwards explains, (and this next sentence is a little deep so I am going to quote directly),
“The human nature of Christ was so honoured as to be in the same person with the eternal Son of God, who was equal with God, and yet that human nature was not at all lifted up with pride.”
You might want to read that again and think about that.
What’s more, Jesus did the most amazing things.
Imagine healing people, having demons cower at your feet, or how about, think about this, raising someone from the dead?
And yet Jesus stayed humble.
There never was anyone greater, there was never anyone who did anything better, and yet there was never anyone more humble. Though He was the King, He submitted to His parents. Though He was the Ruler of the Universe, He spent thirty years living in obscurity.
It is easy to appear humble when people are treating you as if you were someone important. The real test of humility is when you are being treated as if you were nothing.
Look at Jesus.
As Jonathan Edwards explains,
“And though he knew that God had appointed him to be the king over heaven and earth, angels and men…he was such an infinitely honourable person, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God, yet such was his humility, that he did not disdain to be abased and depressed down into lower and viler circumstances and sufferings than ever any other elect creature was, so that he became least of all, and lowest of all.”