Laying Low

Michael Beck

“Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly. The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.” (Proverbs 3:34,35)

If anyone deserved the spotlight it was Jesus. But he stayed hidden away for the first thirty years of His life. Who knew His name, who sang His praises, as He quietly labored in the obscure town of Nazareth? And then it was the time of His unveiling, not to the multitudes, but to only one man, his cousin, John. Surely, with the backing of John, He would quickly rise to prominence. No, He would head directly into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. One of those temptations promised Him a short-cut to recognition and fame. If He would cast Himself down from the pinnacle of the temple, His sudden, miraculous appearance in the midst of the people would win Him instant celebrity. But He refused the tantalizing offer, and chose to wait on the Father’s time to lift Him up.

Jesus was not a self-promoter. He was well aware of the tendency in man to lift himself up. He gave us all this advice:

“And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them, When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” (Luke 14:7-11)

Jesus has been exalted to the highest place of honor because of His walk of obedience to the Father. That walk took Him from the little town of Bethlehem, through the dusty village of Nazareth, and into the wilderness of Judea. From there He would not seek the “highest room,” He took the “lowest room” on Calvary’s cross becoming a “worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.” (Psalm 22:6)

Jesus described Himself thus: “I am meek and lowly in heart.” (Matt. 11:29) Our Master wants us to be “where He is.” (John 14:3) He has prepared a place for us where we will see His glory. (John 17:24) For now, be where He is in heart. Lay low with Him. Those wearing a yoke cannot lift themselves up. In due season, when our obedience is fulfilled, promotion will come. We who have shared His humility will share His glory. But even then, He alone will deserve all the spotlight.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.