Discovering True Greatness: Humility Through a Child's Eyes

Matt. 18:4  Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

A couple of things come to mind when I read this text. We can learn some lessons about true humility by considering this child. The first thing we notice is that the child’s name is not mentioned. This implies that what matters more than a name is the character behind the name.

John the Baptist, when asked who he was, simply replied, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.” (see John 1:23). As a result, we find that Jesus said of that same John in Matt. 11:11, “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” What made John so great was that he made no big fuss about himself; he only made a fuss about Jesus! He said in John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

It is human nature to wonder what the name of the child was of whom Jesus made reference in our text, but Jesus purposefully didn’t mention his name so that we might learn the importance of knowing that any greatness comes only when we exalt the name of Christ. When we think of great people, we identify them by their names; however, it is not the name itself, but it is the person behind the name that made the name so powerful.

People who come into notoriety generally do not do so overnight, nor do they generally do so intentionally. As a matter of fact, the more a man tries to promote himself, generally the farther away he pushes himself from any significant recognition. Jesus said in Luke 14:11, “For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

So it should be our goal in life not to become popular so far as the world is concerned, but simply to exalt Christ among the nations. Even Christ “made himself of no reputation” as seen in Php. 2:7. However, if you read on, his reward was in v. 9, where “God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:”

The second lesson: Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth (see Prov. 27:2)! Humble yourself, and God will exalt you.

~ Pastor Gary Caudill
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