SBS Sermon Notes

SBS     Sermon Notes     Note 06/02

The Lowly Messiah

1. Introduction

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.
Proverbs 6:16 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 Britons, one earns £10 per week and the other £1,000. 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 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 ...
verse 48 : For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Luke 2:7 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.
Leviticus 12:3-8 ... And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons ...
Luke 2:22-24 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.

Note: Mary gave birth to other children after Jesus. The teaching that she remained a virgin after the Saviour's birth is scripturally inaccurate.
Mark 6:3 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.

5. 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.
Luke 9:58 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.

6. 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.
Zecheriah 9:9 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.
Philippians 2:8 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 proud.

7. 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.
John 3:16 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.

NOTE: 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.

8. 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.
Ephesians 1:20 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.

Philippians 2:9 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.

9. Conclusion

From the above we may draw the following conclusions:

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Elder: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
Placed on Internet July 1996 ... Updated August 1999