The Lowly Messiah
English: Lowly = of humble (low) rank or condition
Hebrew: Anav or Shaphal = humble / low
Greek: Tapeinos = Humble / low
If we are to accept, and we obviously do, that Yahweh correctly
evaluates the importance of everything, then mankind's priorities are
tragically warped. What the human race considers important and of
prime value is often of little account to the Most High. And what we
put last, He often puts first. In Yeshua the Messiah’s life we witness
the priority rating of lowliness, a condition often confused with
meekness. Lowliness means of humble or low rank. It is a grade, a
position - not a trait. It comes from the word ‘low.’ Meekness on the
other hand is a product of the mind, a character trait. Meekness may
go hand in hand with lowliness; but it is really a different thing.
Meekness is the opposite of pride. Meekness is an accurate evaluation
of one's worth. Pride is an over-estimation of one's worth. Pride is
one of the worst sins.
||16: “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:|
17: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18: An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19: A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”
Notice that pride is mentioned first in this list of abominations.
But back to lowliness. Lowliness is not meekness. For example: There
are 2 Canadians, one earns $10.00 per week and the other $100.00
per week. The first is lowly paid, the second is highly paid.
Meekness and pride do not enter the equation at this stage. Both
men could be meek, And, surprisingly, both men could also be proud.
But only one is lowly paid; the one who receives $10.00 a week. Lowliness,
in other words, is a matter of economic or social status; whereas
humility and pride are matters of the mind. With that thought in mind
let us consider the lowly Messiah.
2. Messiah’s Birth
Not many people in this world were born in such lowly circumstances
as was Jesus. He was born in a cattle shelter (not a cave) and laid
in a manger. To be sure we are able with music and song to make it all
sound so beautiful; but in reality it was an extremely lowly start to
life. One can hardly imagine a lowlier start.
|Luke 1: 26-47
||Read this passage ...
||: “For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.”
||7: “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”
3. Yeshua’s Home
The Saviour came from a lowly home. Joseph and Mary were poor
people. We know this by the gift Mary made of “a
pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons.” This
was the prescribed gift for the poor.
||3-8: “...And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons ...”
||22: “And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;|
23: (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)
24: And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.”
But even though Joseph and Mary were poor people, Yahweh didn't
let His Son's birth go unnoticed. Before the assembled worshippers in
the Temple at Jerusalem the old prophet Simeon praised the Most High
for His salvation through the Christ.
|Luke 2: 25-35:
||Read Simeon's prayer.
Many, however, did not give the Messiah the glory that was his due.
Mary gave birth to other children after Jesus.
The teaching that she remained a virgin after the Saviour's
birth is scripturally inaccurate.
||3: “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.”
4. The Saviour’s Lifestyle
Messiah had no luxuries during his life on earth. He often spent
whole nights out in the open. Church leaders who live in luxury at the
expense of the flock are most certainly not following in the
footsteps of the lowly Saviour.
||58: “And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”
5. His Ignominious Death
In his death the Saviour demonstrated his lowliness.
He who was of such supreme worth and dignity; he who
deserved to live in absolute splendour, accepted without
complaint - death on the cross! He died with the
very worst of criminals in a most tragic and degrading manner:
rejected by a world he had come to save.
||9: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.”
The ass was the poor man's horse. One could hardly get a more humble
form of transport. It's like riding about on a bicycle in this day and age.
||8: “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
Public crucifixion was the most ignominious form of death a prisoner
could suffer. It wasn't merely the death sentence. It was a
disgraceful way to die. No privacy, no dignity, no speedy end; but a
painful insulting punishment to the very last drop of blood and the
last gasp of breath. Jesus (Yeshua the Messiah) bore that for you and
he bore it for me. Let us never forget that astonishing fact! Think
about it over and over and over again when you feel tempted to become
6. Why did He do It?
The next question is: Why did Messiah choose to be lowly: to live and
die in such a way? What divine purpose did Yahweh have in allowing His
Son to be born in a manger and to die like a criminal on the cross?
What motivated Him? It would be foolish of me to claim to know the
whole truth about this amazing mystery. Suffice it to say that
Yahweh's amazing love for us, yea for the whole human race, is the
underlying reason. We didn't deserve it, and never will. We do not
have any right to compassion and love of that magnitude. But there it
is, the greatest mystery of all time! Yahweh loves you, and me and
every other ignorant soul that walks this cursed earth.
And He has paid the price for your redemption and mine.
||16: “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.”
|2 Corinthians 8:
||9: “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.”
These verses, and there are many others, give us a glimpse
at the reason for Messiah taking up a lowly position.
He became poor in order that we might through his poverty
become rich. We will need an eternity to appreciate the
full extent of that statement: of what he gave up, and what
great dividends his spiritual sacrifice earned for us. The
redeemed host are to inherit spiritual, mental and material
wealth in excess of anything the human race has ever seen,
all because of Messiah's generosity.
|1 Corinthians 2:
||9: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
7. Messiah’s Present Rank
Lowliness, the state of being poor, is not the eternal condition that
Yahweh planned for His Son. To be sure Yeshua may have been be
extremely lowly when he walked this earth; but that temporary phase
has passed. His present rank is far above every angel in the universe
and every human being that has ever existed. Second in authority only
to his Father, Yeshua the Messiah is to rule the entire universe.
||20: “Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,|
21: Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
22: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.”
||9: “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:|
10: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11: And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
In a similar way the lowly believer will be lifted high in glory,
honour and power; and the unbeliever will be brought down.
|1 John 3:
||1: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.|
2: Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3: And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”
From the above we may draw the following conclusions:
- That lowliness, poverty or humble circumstances are not
conditions we should be ashamed of or dread.
- Lowliness is a temporary condition which in the
Kingdom will be replaced with high honours and unimaginable glory.
- Truth can flourish in the very lowliest (poorest) of conditions.
- But having proved that point it will not be necessary to remain
lowly in rank or status throughout eternity, the Saviour is now of
very high rank. Let the lowliest (poorest) believer take heart at
- The Saviour became poor and died an ignominious death to save you
and to save me. Let us never forget that fact. Our very salvation
depends on how we react to it.
- “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek
and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11: 29)
In the Son’s Name — For the Father’s glory.
Elder: Max W. Mader