"And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted" (Matthew 23:12).
The principle expressed here by our Lord Jesus is found frequently in the Scriptures and thus must be of key importance. The greatest example of humility was set by the Lord Himself.
"For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich" (II Corinthians 8:9).
". . . He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name" (Philippians 2:8-9).
The words of our text verse above were actually spoken both to and about a group of proud scribes and Pharisees, very religious and very proud of it. But as Jesus said to them: ". . . ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity" (Matthew 23:28).
Yet His closest disciples needed also a similar rebuke when they fell to arguing about which of them was the most important. "Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: . . . whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant" (Matthew 20:25-27).
Remember that even Paul could testify that he was "Serving the Lord with all humility of mind" (Acts 20:19). Finally, Peter's admonition is most fitting: "Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time" (I Peter 5:5-6). HMM