Do not exalt yourself in the king’s presence, and do not claim a place among his great men; it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here,” than for him to humiliate you before his nobles.
“Hey Daddy, watch me!” We likely all shouted similar words to a parent, grandparent, or teacher at one point in our lives. Whether we were about to go down the park slide or try a somersault or try to make a free-throw, we wanted to be noticed. That really hasn’t changed. We like to show off for the teacher, coach, or employer. We want to appear smarter than our classmates, faster than our teammates, and more productive than our coworkers. And, in getting noticed, we hope to be elevated above others. We want the scholarship, more playing time, or the raise in salary before anyone else can get it.
But what if it goes the other way? What if the teacher, coach, or boss is not impressed? What if we haven’t met the standard as well as someone else? It can be humiliating when someone is chosen ahead of us.
In the same way, we cannot impress our heavenly Father enough to be given eternal life. As he looks at our imperfect lives of sin, the only possible conclusion he can come to is that we are not good enough—that our lives of good deeds have not been impressive enough. One single sin is enough for God to humiliate us rather than exalt us.
That’’where Jesus comes in. Rather than come down to earth to impress everyone, Jesus humbled himself and put others first. He did not seek to elevate himself over anyone else. Instead, he willingly gave himself to a horrible death on a cross so that he could pay the price that our sins deserved. He died for you and me and the whole world. And now, through faith in Jesus, the Father holds out his hand and says, “come up here.” Jesus has opened the door to heaven for us. Thanks to Jesus, we will not be humiliated for our sins. Rather, we are saved now and forever.
Dear Jesus, thank you for humiliating yourself so that I could be lifted up to heaven. Help me to honor you in my life today. Amen.