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The Humility of Christ

British Prime Minister Clement Atlee was once described (possibly by Winston Churchill) as “a modest man who has a great deal to be modest about.” Whether or not Churchill is the originator of the quip, it is certainly true of all of us. Though we all harbor a great propensity for pride, we all have great cause for humility. Conversely, there is one in whom no reason for humility can be found, yet who embodies the virtue in everything he has done.


“I seek not mine own glory” (John viii. 56). In this humility lies the foundation of Christ’s moral excellence. The humility of Jesus found expression in a constant renunciation of His own honour. It shows that He lived in another element and before another public than that of human opinion, which attaches weight only to that which is ostentatious, or comes recommended by success or marked superiority in the race of life. His public before which He acted was not human opinion, but the eye of His Father, before whose perfections all the distinctions of man, as well as all their praise and honour, are little and puny indeed. He did not wish to rise, but to abase Himself: “I am among you as one that serveth.” Though so exalted and excellent, He was more humble than any creature in the universe.

—George Smeaton, Christ’s Doctrine of the Atonement (Banner of Truth, 2009), 164–165.

Posted 2018·05·16 by David Kjos
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Posted in: Atonement · Christ’s Doctrine of the Atonement · George Smeaton · Humility

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