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  • Writer's pictureRob

The Hundred-Forty-Second (Lowly)

I hope you had a great week! Have you ever been in a situation, or seen one, where someone (hopefully not yourself!) talked themselves up or acted like they were "all that and a bag of chips" and subsequently crashed and burned, whether by their own actions or someone else's? How about a situation where it was clear that a person's sole focus was on their own status? Namely, they wanted to "make a name for themselves," or they just generally wanted everyone around them to see them as being on a pedestal and that they deserved to be served and catered to. Most of the time, in my experience, this is based on the amount of money a person has, although sometimes the individual tries to take the "fake it till you make it," approach.

From what I've seen, these types of people are not received well. Others wish they would be "put in their place," or "taken down a notch." But even if the person is in a situation where they are shown to be not as good as they try to project, most of the time they blame it on someone, or something, else: "I would have had that if it wasn't for ______," or "______ didn't give me a chance to _____." Their pride blinds them from the truth of the matter. Or, in the case of those faking it, they know the truth and still want to project their illusion. This creates a slightly different situation where the person may become anxious out of fear of being found out that they are not as good as they want people to think. The funny part is, I think in most cases the majority of people can see right through their illusion anyway, so their anxiety is pointless because people already know the truth. It just results in people feeling sorry for the person since they know he or she is living in a fantasy world.

There are a lot of verses in scripture about pride and its effects, and we've looked at humility before. One of the ones that has been in my mind constantly since I was a child is Proverbs 16:18. It is very definitive in that it states, essentially, if you have pride, you will see destruction. If you have a haughty spirit, you will fall. It's not a matter of if, but when the destruction or fall occurs. But believe me, just because that verse was in my mind doesn't mean I heeded that warning in all situations! But why put yourself through that? Why even give the opportunity to see destruction or a fall due to being prideful or arrogant?

There's a Psalm that describes our Messiah (Psalm 8:5). In fact, there are many! This one in particular is referenced in two places in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 15:27, Hebrews 2:7, 9). In most every translation, the Psalm describes Him as being "a little lower than the angels." Unfortunately, even my new favorite translation, the Berean Standard Bible, gets this wrong, which goes to show no translation will ever be completely perfect. The world translated to "angels" is actually elohim, which almost everywhere else in scripture is translated to "God." Yes, that's with a capital "G."

You may read that Psalm and think it's talking about man in general, and not Yeshua specifically. However, as confirmed in 1 Corinthians and Hebrews, it is speaking about Yeshua, and He also called Himself Son of Man during His ministry (Matthew 8:20, John 12:23, among others). So, we find that YHWH made Yeshua a little lower than Himself, and with the amplification of Paul and the writer of Hebrews we see that with that status He was given dominion over everything.

That status, being just lower than YHWH, means there is no one higher than Yeshua except YHWH. And when you read that Psalm one more time, you see that David wrote in the past tense. In other words, even at the time of David, everything had already been placed under Yeshua's feet. That didn't wait until after Yeshua died for our sins and rose to be seated at the right hand of YHWH (Colossians 3:1).

So, how did that affect Yeshua's attitude during His ministry? Man, knowing and having such a status, would have surely had a drastically different demeanor than we see Yeshua having. I mean, just look at what you see in the world right now. There are people with far less placed under them that act like they are better than everyone else. Imagine if literally everything was placed under them what their attitude would be.

We know everything was made through Him and nothing was made without Him (John 1:3), so He could have easily come down and demonstrated His power, which would have motivated almost everyone to follow Him. Sure, there would have still been some, likely those in power, that would have resisted and fought back to try to maintain their power. And if YHWH sends an army to protect Elisha (2 Kings 6:17), He would have surely done the same to keep Yeshua safe.

Instead, Yeshua started and ended His life on earth as low as He could be: a seemingly illegitimate child in a feeding trough (Matthew 1:18-19, Luke 2:12) and a rejected, falsely condemned man (Luke 23:4). People made comments about Him based on His earthly origin (Mark 6:3, John 1:46). Did He stand up for Himself? Did He punch people out for "talking smack?" No, of course not! His is the attitude you have when you know the truth and understand that's all that matters, not what others think is the truth.

It wasn't just how He acted though, it was also what He taught. One of His consistent instructions was to be meek and humble (Matthew 5:5, 23:12), even when attending events (Luke 14:10). He didn't let the world's view of things influence how He acted or what He did. While the world exalted those born into royalty or who fought their way into power, Yeshua, who had a hand in creating everything you see, avoided exultation and maintained His lowly world status (John 6:15).

There are a lot of things in the world that are designed to control us. The construct of hierarchies based on money or fame or power is one of them, regardless of if they're on a global or a local level. The drive to get that next promotion, or that next $1,000, can control what you do, even cause you to compromise your convictions and beliefs. Yeshua didn't let such things control Him and neither should we.

The world will tell you that if you just had a little bit more income, a few more possessions, slightly more real estate, a position of worldly power, whether in a company or a government, or even popularity, your life will be that much easier. The truth is, none of that really matters or even makes your life easier, and that's what Yeshua said (Matthew 6:19-20). So, don't let it control and drive you like it does those of the world. Think about what those things are in your life, and instead live for Him!

Shabbat shalom and may YHWH bless you!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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