Jesus made a statement recorded in Matthew 23:12: “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

This is following a teaching that we are not to be called master, father or teacher. He said approximately the same thing in Luke 14:11, only in this case He said everyone instead of whoever. It was the conclusion of a command not to take the place of honor but to take the lowest place at a wedding banquet.

Again in Luke 18:14, the same conclusion: “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” This time it was the conclusion to a parable of a man who considered himself more righteous than another man.

There seems to be more than one way to exalt yourself. They all seem to be evident in today’s society. They are evident because we can see self-exaltation in other people, but we do not see it in ourselves. Let us pray that we will be able to reject self-exaltation and that we will humble ourselves.


Written January 1985. (Photo courtesy of the #departmentofhellno.)