Character of Royalty: Kingly Humility

Humility is the hallmark of kingliness. No virtue is more befitting a king than humility. Why do I say this? Because Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords, was the humblest man to ever walk the face of the earth. There is only one place in the Gospels where Jesus chooses to reveal His character – who He is on the inside. That place is Matthew 11:29: “I am meek and humble in heart.”

Jesus knew exactly who He was. Indeed, the very knowledge that He was the most powerful Person in existence allowed Him to show His True character: “Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing and wrapped a towel around his waist,” John 13:3-4. Jesus didn’t come to be served and take, He came to serve and to give (Mark 10:45).

Our royal status, power and authority does not make us spoiled brats. We are not to become demanding, self-centered and egotistical – imagining that the world owes us something because of who we are and expecting everything to bend to our wills. That is not the model of royalty handed down to us by our Lord Jesus.

Instead, we are to use the knowledge that we are powerful, that we have sway in the Kingdom of God, to serve. We are called to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but to treat others as more important than ourselves (Philippians 2:3). This does not mean that we diminish who we are in order to make others appear important, that would be lying, a denial of who we really are. Instead, we are called to elevate others, to treat them with greater amounts of dignity, honor and respect. Humility is knowing and being exactly who you are, nothing more (which is arrogance) and nothing less (which is false humility). And it is from that place of humility, knowing and being exactly who you are, that we can honor others.

It is humility to assume that others know more than you, love God more and hear His Voice better than you. This isn’t to say you don’t know anything, you don’t love God or you don’t hear His Voice, it’s just that you assume others are more zealous and devout than you are which puts you in a position to learn, receive and be gracious. This is otherwise known as wisdom.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

Our attitude as royal sons and daughters should be the same as Christ Jesus. Jesus was equal to God, but didn’t try to compete with the Father’s authority. Instead, He humbled Himself, treating the Father’s will as more important than His own, and came in the form of a servant. That is our model and example. Humility is the ultimate test of true royalty.

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