“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Cor. 12:9). Therefore, “not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God,” (2 Cor. 3:5).
Do you ever notice the humility of the Apostles when you read the New Testament? Well, of course, first we must notice the humility of Jesus! Why is it that Jesus was so humble, never pointing at Himself? And why were the Apostles so bold about humility? Which is an odd way to put that. But for real. Jesus always pointed to the Father, and the Apostles always pointed to Jesus. Also, I can put here that the Holy Spirit doesn’t even point at Himself. He points at Jesus and the Father.
From what I have seen and heard; those who are either, popular, or successful in this world tend to walk with an “outstretched neck” or, full of pride. When someone, using their own powers to move themself ahead, or to the top of the group, finally gets there they can pat themselves on the back. Saying to themselves, “well done, well done.” But another thing I have seen and heard is that those who have worked so hard to get to the top, once they are there, must do everything they can to not fall from that place. You see, these individuals are truly insecure. It may appear they are exceptionally secure. The thing is, humanity relying on itself is very unstable and unpredictable. Why? Because life happens, we change, we fluctuate and make mistakes. We are not perfect. So, anyone who has put the “mask” of perfection on must never allow it to come off in public. Doesn’t that sound like stressful, exhausting work? This also makes me think of those on social media who have placed themselves in a “false light” appearing flawless. Wow, the effort to appear “Godlike” when you are, in truth, a hopeless wreck, apart from a Savior that is!
Now back to looking at Jesus and the Apostles. The other night I was watching Rabbi Schnieder on YouTube and he pointed out the passage in John when Jesus took off His outer garment and started washing the disciples’ feet. Here is the passage. Let’s examine it: “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” (John 13:3-5). The Rabbi focused on this one fact, “Jesus knew where He had come from, and where He was going.” In other words, Jesus knew His identity and was secure in it. You see, when someone is secure in “who they are” and not living a lie or putting on a “mask” so as to appear a certain way. Then, and only then, are they…truly free. Jesus was absolutely free to bend down and serve others. Jesus had “nothing to prove.” He had come to do one thing: the Father’s will. He did not come to “prove Himself” or to “persuade anyone” with flattery. Jesus, as well as the Apostles, were confident. They were confident in their relationship with God. Now, confidence and pride are not the same. A confident person can be humble and yet confident in themselves. Confidence comes from security. And truly, Jesus knew He was secure in His Father’s love. And when someone is utterly secure, they have a unique perspective on life. They see things differently than others because there is no skewed view of fear, or insecurity fogging their lenses. The Apostles did not have to prove anything. They knew they had been chosen and appointed and empowered by God Himself to their tasks. They knew they were nothing apart from Christ. This truth, many do not know yet. All humans are nothing apart from Christ. And since the Apostles knew themselves well, they simply “rested” in Christ’s all sufficient grace. A long time ago I stopped pretending to be something I was not! And what a gift! The cool thing is, when you know God as Father, Jesus as Savior and Lord, and the Spirit as your life, you are…okay. You no longer rely on you. You are free to not be perfect and you are free to allow Christ’s perfection to empower you for all things which He chooses to set before you.
So, the way up is down. To be great is to be nothing. Now, not in some, “I’m a horrible person, I’m worthless, I’m a nobody, etc.” way. That is false humility. But through coming to terms with the reality of your identity. When you view yourself as a dependent child of God. In other words, when you realize you NEED Him for all things. That Christ is literally your power and sufficiency for normal, everyday life. Then you are free to rest in, and to rely on, His abundant grace which He promises to those who trust in Him. So, if you are wearing a “metaphorical mask” then take it off. Admit to God and others that you cannot do it. That you need the Lord for all things (because, if you’re living in the 21st century, you do!). Walk with freedom, knowing your God and knowing yourself. Trust Him. He has proven for over 2000 years to be sufficient for those who find their sufficiency in Him!