Humility of Jesus

    1. Humility of Jesus

      1. 1. What is Humility?

      2. 2. Humility as a human side of Jesus

      3. 3. Perfection in humility

      4. 4. Incarnation of Jesus

      5. Conclusion

For many people it is difficult to understand the balance between power and humility. When you have all the power, why be humble and act like a servant? As president, king or manager, you have to do board duties, not to assist anyone, right? That is why it is so hard to follow that when Jesus is the King of Kings, he is also perfect in humility. Some clarification is needed.

1. What is Humility?

Humility means freedom from pride or arrogance [1]. The English word "humility" is derived from the Latin word "humilis", which means "low". Many people consider persons of humble origin to be a kind of lower category. A humble person is often associated as someone who is not impressive. According to research for the benefit of our society, humility is associated with power. Those who empower and value their employees are open to feedback and care about the greater good. We find that Chief Executive Officer (CEO) humility is positively associated with reinforcing leadership behavior, which in turn correlates with top management team integration. [2]

Organizations go to great lengths to hire and promote employees who lead effectively but are not in the spotlight. [3]. The Scriptures contain a verse about a humble state and the impact it has: “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2) Humility is a personal dignity, an attitude of body and soul in personal life.

2. Humility as a human side of Jesus

As a human being and in a Jewish society, Jesus himself was in a humble state. Therefore, Jesus had to act in accordance with his humiliated condition as a man, without making mistakes or transgressions against the will of God.

1. Love for the Father

Jesus showed on earth that his whole life was filled with love for the Father. There was an intimate relationship between Jesus and the Father on both sides. Jesus had a regular and intense prayer life to the Father [4].

Mark 13:32 - “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

Luke 18:19 - “’Why do you call me good?’ Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.””

John 14:31 - “But he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.”

John 17:25-26 - “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

2. Obedience to the Father

Many people like to have personal freedom and therefore obedience is not something they like. Behavior of obligations and a strong motivation is needed to be obedient. Jesus is not in a position of having no will of his own. However Jesus uses his will to have a desire not to do his own will, but to do the will of God and do nothing else. There is perfect two-way traceability, but Jesus is the example of how to live by God's standards. He submitted completely to the will of the Father.

Matthew 20:23 - “Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.””

Matthew 26:39 - “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.””

John 5:19 - “Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”

John 5:30 - “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.”

John 6:38 - “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.”

John 14:31 - “But he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.”

John 15:10 - “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.”

Galatians 4:4 - “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,”

3. Establishment of the Covenant Order

People cannot have a position of their own before God, but must be completely ruled by the love of God. Jesus himself exemplifies these practices.

Luke 6:35 - “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”

Luke 22:20 - “In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”

Hebrews 9:15 - “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.”

Hebrews 12:24 - “to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”

Hebrews 13:20 - “Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep,”

4. Lower than the angels

Bible verses mention that Jesus was lower than the angels. However, this was made for a short time on earth and it shows the temporary humiliation of Jesus. Lower than the angels came true when Jesus suffered until he died on the cross. But Jesus' death is connected with his resurrection. His crown was the result of his humility and suffering.

Philippians 2:7 - “rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[a] of a servant, being made in human likeness.”

2 Corinthians 8:9 - “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”

Hebrews 2:7 - “You made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honor” Hebrews 2:9 - “But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.”

5. Shape of the Kingdom of God

God's kingdom is different from areas on earth because it is a different physical dimension, a spiritual area. Nor does it rule the earth in the name of God. Jesus never did such a thing, he always referred to another world, not our world. Sharing the shape of the Kingdom of God can be a summary of Jesus' ministry on earth.

Matthew 12:28 - “But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.”

Mark 1:15 - “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

John 18:36 - “Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.””

Colossians 1:13 - “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,”

2 Peter 1:11 - “and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

6. Carefree

Jesus showed on earth that inviting God in mind, body and spirit results in the disappearance of darkness, fear and problems in mind and heart. Jesus used the carefree attitude of the birds to emphasize that worrying is unnatural [5].

Matthew 6:26 - “ Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

Mark 4:38-40 - “But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”

Luke 23:43 - “And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

Luke 23:46 - “And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ ” Having said this, He breathed His last.”

The events of Jesus' crucifixion also include Jesus' words from Psalm 22 about “why God has forsaken me” (Matthew 27:46). It may be helpful to read the context of Psalm 22, the description of a suffering man, who still praises God and is full of confidence (Psalm 22:23). It is connected with Nehemiah 4:14 “...Do not be afraid of them: remember the Lord, who is great and terrible...” and Nehemiah 4:14 “...our God will fight for us...”

7. Sinlessness

The result of obedience to God was that Jesus lived a life without sin. He was able to live according to the law of Moses. Every man must test himself for mistakes and sin in life and no one can conclude that he has no sin. But people said of Jesus that he was a righteous man, without fault. Even demons called Jesus the Holy One of God. Jesus was the only one who was righteous.

1 Peter 2:22 - “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth;”

Hebrews 4:15 - “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

1 John 3:5 - “And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.”

8. Decided to pay the price for perfect humanity

The most visible result that Jesus had perfect love for God and obedience is that he was willing to pay the price to show mankind his love for people. He honored God with his body as a living sacrifice.

Matthew 20:28 - “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

John 10:15 - “As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.”

John 15:13 - “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

Philippians. 2:8, “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

9. Representation of the Father

When Jesus became human, he did the same thing as a president or manager in undercover position as God in the flesh. Jesus is the representation of the Father as the image of the invisible God. Jesus is no different from the character of the Father. God's service, forgiveness, love, grace, integrity, justice, power, majesty and judgment are represented in Jesus. The attributes of the Father are also in Jesus.

Matthew 1:23 - “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

Matthew 11:27 - “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”

John 1:18 - “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.”

John 8:28 - “Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.” John 10:30 - “I and My Father are one.”

John 14:6 - “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

John 14:9 - “Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?”

Colossians 1:15 - “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.”

Hebrews 1:3 - “Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,”

3. Perfection in humility

In the Gospel, the life of Jesus shows no ego and boastfulness. Jesus had no sinful pleasure, made no mistake or mistake. As a result, he had no fear and no burden of guilty practices in a mortal body. His behavior is a reflection of his love and obedience to the Father. Jesus was just as humble as a servant in his relationship with God, but also in the way he served people. Jesus showed himself to mankind as a practical example of humility:

Matthew 5:3-5 - “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

Matthew 20:27-28 - “And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave - just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Luke 14:10-11 - “But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

John 5:30 - “I can of myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.”

John 7:18 - “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.” John 8:42 - “Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.”

John 13:5 - “After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.”

Philippians 2:7-8 - “But made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

Hebrews 2:9 - “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.”

Hebrews 2:17 - “Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”

Hebrews 4:15 - “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

The verses are an illustration of the humility of Jesus. Jesus chose the opportunity to come to earth as a human being. He was not promoting himself, but to please his Father with love and obedience to serve and save mankind. He had to give up the comfortable life to change it to live with all the less pleasant aspects of humanity. He had to suffer rejection, grief, pain and even execution as a guilty person. The Scriptures in Philippians 2:7 describe two things of Jesus' humility: his self-humiliation and then his exaltation as a result by the Father, with the following aspects [6]:

1. He emptied himself

Jesus gave up all his administrative and power attributes. In the relaxed and perfect presence of the Supreme Being, Jesus enjoyed joy, peace and stability. The form of God is associated with majesty. In Hebrew this is described as Shekhinah (שְׁכִינָה‎), which means home or foundation of the presence of God. Jesus removed the comfortable position he had in heaven to begin a new position as a man with many challenges on earth. He took a humble place and humbled himself (Philippians 2:7). The way Jesus changed his position from heaven to earth, from perfection, peace and stability to temptations and an uncomfortable life on earth is a sharp contrast.

2. Form of a servant

A transformation like when a manager changes into the role of an ordinary employee as a cleaner. The form of a servant signifies the condition of a servant, as opposed to one of higher rank. It means to act as a servant, to do the duties as a servant. Therefore, Jesus was made as a servant in a low condition. Jesus is robbed in a position of no perfection (Philippians 2:5-6). From the highest position, there are many roles that are lower. Angels are also servants, but enjoy more comfort than human servants. Jesus never acted in a selfish way. He did not use his high position to get a comfortable life for himself. Instead, he did not gain a reputation and followed the pattern of one who is truly committed to following his Father. Jesus went to the level where a servant is completely obedient to his master, like a slave. He was made in the likeness of human flesh, but he proved that it is possible not to commit any sin while in the flesh. Jesus used the freedom of his own will to serve his Father in a perfect way.

3. Likeness of man

The likeness of man seems to be a weak expression of the humanity of Jesus. But what is meant is that it is the likeness of men in general, as they are. There was a time when Jesus didn't have the likeness of men before he came into the womb of a virgin. He had an existence before he appeared on earth as a human, and that previous state of existence was superior. The word “likeness” is not the same as equals substance or character, but equals presentation. Therefore, likeness represents the original. By taking on human flesh, Jesus was formed in the womb of a virgin by an awesome inspiring action and became a man on earth. “Likeness” in Greek Bible verse: ὁμοιώματι, which also means “to be equal to.” So Jesus was not a fake man wearing only a mask, but in reality perfectly protected from human troubles. No, he had to suffer in the same way we humans do on earth (Hebrews 4:15).

4. Found in appearance as a man

Because Jesus was a man, like other men, he also experienced the challenges and temptations in life. He walked on earth and at first impression, nobody notices something special with him. Jesus did not look like God on the outside in general. However with God’s revelation, it was possible to identify the true position of Jesus. Like a testimony of his disciple Peter (Mark 8:29) and at the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:2), when Jesus changed his image to perfect greatness and majesty for a short moment in time.

5. He humbled himself

The events in the life of Jesus do not show that a person proudly seeks his own honor. As a young child he was a refugee in a foreign land. In his youth he lived in an area with little respect from the rest of the country and with poor parents. Jesus did not act as president of any religious organization, he did not give advice on command. He was not born in a city with a political or religious center. He didn't look at his own things. He came from a place of wealth, power and glory of the greatest ruler, but now he appeared in a human nature of poverty, shame and suffering. Jesus did not seek, but carefully escaped egocentric glory and popular applause. Jesus the Messiah came in a very unexpected way and his life looks unattractive. It's hard to be respected when you come from a low-class family and from an area that lacks the respect of the rest of the country. But Jesus humbled himself to such a background.

6. Passed all tests of men

In the case of fasting, Jesus was nearly starving. He was weak as a man and also tempted by the flesh. When such severe challenges came to human life, he did not escape a more comfortable life, but remained steadfast in following God's will. Jesus was not tempted to sin. His mental response was illustrated with Scripture verses. He proved the ability to stay away from the temptations of the flesh and be without sin. It was not possible to lead him into a successful temptation. Jesus was tested with the mother of all tests. Because Jesus said he is the Messiah, people threw garbage on him and told him to die. But through his lifestyle, he wanted to bring back the purity of thought, because we are sometimes programmed with false teachings. Jesus passed all the tests, therefore he is the only true witness of perfect life.

7. Total self-humbling in torture and shame

Jesus died like a criminal in the hands of his enemies and under the torture of the most feared execution method of his time. It is hard to die, but even harder to die with deep suffering. However even harder is to die in shame in front of human public eye and tortured to death. Jesus’ mental power to make good decisions had been tested under extreme circumstances. But much more difficult it is to die in shame in front of the public and be tortured to death. Jesus' mental capacity to make good decisions had been tested under extreme circumstances. Therefore the most important element in the humility of Jesus is that he came from heaven to our world.

4. Incarnation of Jesus

1. What it means

Incarnation is the principle that Jesus the Messiah was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary. It means that Jesus is fully God and fully human. It is related to the situation of the preexistence of Jesus from a reality outside our world, in heaven. Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). The eternal Messiah decided to have a human nature. He became flesh and united with human nature as a garment for his divine nature: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). He wanted to have a human nature to unite mankind with himself [7]: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

2. Hypostatic Union

Hypostatic Union is about clarifying how it is possible for Jesus to have both human nature and divine attributes. Jesus said: “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30) and “But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him” John 10:38. “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,” (Col. 1:19). For more details: Is Jesus God according to Christian doctrines?.

3. Balance between power and humility

Absolute power and humility are opposed to each other. Perfect in power can only be God. Man is imperfect. The Scriptures distinguish between the human attributes and the divine attributes of Jesus Christ. They can be summarized in the paragraphs below.

4. Human Jesus

5. Divine Jesus

6. Beyond rational understanding

It is not necessary for the human mind to have a rational understanding that Jesus is both God and man. The only necessary requirement is to believe that Jesus has all power to forgive your sins and give you eternal life (John 3:16). The human mind cannot understand the nature of Jesus, only the revelation of the Holy Spirit realizes its truth (John 16:12-15).


Jesus showed humanity on earth. Like us, he was made of flesh and blood and was just like us. He also showed perfect humility. Jesus showed mankind the ultimate example in humility by dying for his faith to love people and do God's will. Lessons learned from top executives show that humility is an attitude that is a key to success. Reading the Scriptures will result in Jesus being more than an ordinary man, even more than a prophet or messenger. That he can do things that no man can do except God. Jesus is sinless and able to forgive sins and insure eternal life [8].