A lesson in humility

One observation from today’s reading in Matthew 12 is a reflection on the humility of Jesus. He did so much for so many, yet never boasted about himself. Even while he performed miracles or when he was unjustly accused numerous times, he was humble.

Today’s reading links: Matthew 12 & Psalm 85

This week I had the opportunity to observe some manual laborers who work outside, often in challenging conditions in a manufacturing environment where safety is the utmost in priority. There are lots of moving parts, vehicles and machines, thus making it a very noisy and intense environment. The workers do heavy lifting, work with their hands, and are on their feet all day. There is little room for error, the pace is fast and the pressure is high; perhaps “organized chaos” is a good description.

On this particular day, the outside temperature was about 47 degrees Fahrenheit and it was windy so it felt like about 30 degrees. The workers were wearing multiple layers of clothing, gloves, steel-toe boots, and other protective gear. The heavy rain during the two prior days had left its mark on much of the outdoor raw material area. I was in awe; these jobs are not for the weak.

In just a few minutes of observing, I had so many emotions:

  • First and foremost, great respect for these hard workers.
  • Fear that if that was my job I would be a total failure or injure myself.
  • Thankfulness for the opportunities that have been granted to me.
  • Shame for any pride I might have in thinking I might be better than anyone else, ever.
  • Humbled that hard workers like these men and women are truly the backbone of our great country.

To cap all of this off, I was introduced to a man named Jason. We asked him a couple questions about his job and he looked me in the eye, politely responded with a huge and genuine smile, “well, today is my first day on the job, so I’m just learning”.

No complaining, no nonsense, just humility. I could tell that he was thankful for his job and the opportunity that had been granted to him. Call me crazy, but I absolutely felt the presence of the Holy Spirit, teaching me, humbling me, and leading me to pray more and love more. May God bless Jason; a humble and strong man.

In closing today, please reflect on these seven verses and consider the humility of Jesus and how we can strive to become more humble as well.

15 Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all 16 and ordered them not to make him known. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah:

18 “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen,
    my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased.
I will put my Spirit upon him,
    and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
19 He will not quarrel or cry aloud,
    nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets;
20 a bruised reed he will not break,
    and a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory;
21     and in his name the Gentiles will hope.” (Matthew 12:15-21)