Over the next number of weeks, I am interacting with some of the writings of Andrew Murray. Murray was a South African pastor and missionary during the 19th and early 20th centuries. I am spending time first with his short book Humility, which a friend shared with me recently.
In the second chapter of the book, Murray draws attention to the way in which humility is the secret of our redemption in Jesus Christ. On the one hand, an honest assessment of our own need and the power of sin in our lives should lead us into a humility caused by our own inability and powerlessness. On the other hand, the very humility of Jesus should encourage us that the pathway to redemption comes through His humility and our humble response to Him. Here is Murray on Jesus’ humility and its tie to our redemption:
The life of God which in the incarnation entered human nature is the root in which we are to stand and grow; it is the same almighty power that worked there, and then onward to the resurrection, which works daily in us. Our one need is to study and know and trust the life that has been revealed in Christ as the life that is now ours, and waits for our consent to gain possession and mastery of our whole being.
In this view it is of inconceivable important that we should have right thoughts of what Christ is, of what really constitutes Him the Christ, and specially of what may be counted His chief characteristic, the root and essence of all His character as our Redeemer. There can be but one answer: it is His humility. What is the incarnation but His heavenly humility, His emptying Himself and becoming man? What is His life on earth but humility; His taking the form of a servant? And what is His atonement but humility? “He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death.” And what is His ascension and His glory, but humility exalted to the throne and crowned with glory? “He humbled Himself, therefore God highly exalted Him.” In heaven, where He was with the Father, in His birth, in His life, in His death, in His sitting on the throne, it is all, it is nothing but humility. Chris is the humility of God embodied in human nature; the Eternal Love humbling itself, clothing itself in the garb of meekness and gentleness, to win and serve and save us.
This deep attention to the humility of Jesus gives me great pause to reflect and worship Jesus as we move out from Lent, Good Friday, and the resurrection celebration of Easter. I appreciate the way in which Murray connects the deep humble action of Jesus with the character of humility in God.
Turning the corner from God in Christ to our response to Him, Murray writes pointed words:
If humility be the first, the all-including grace of the life of Jesus – if humility be the secret of His atonement – then the health and strength of our spiritual life will entirely depend upon our putting this grace first too, and making humility the chief thing we admire in Him, the chief thing we ask of Him, the one thing for which we sacrifice all else.
How does that strike you as you read it?
How would you say that the humility of Jesus has most affected you?
How has the humility of Jesus taken root in your life?
What is the greatest hindrance to that?