Lifelong Lessons in Humility from Our Lord

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From a sermon by the Church Father Basil of Caesarea (c. 330-379):

In everything which concerns the Lord we find lessons in humility.

As an infant, he was straightway laid in a cave, and not upon a couch but in a manger.

In the house of a carpenter and of a mother who was poor, he was subject to his mother and her spouse.

He was taught and he paid heed to what he needed not to be told.

He asked questions, but even in the asking he won admiration for his wisdom.

He submitted to John—the Lord received baptism at the hands of his servant.

He did not make use of the marvelous power that he possessed to resist any of those who attacked him, but, as if yielding to superior force, he allowed temporal authority to exercise the power proper to it.

He was brought before the high priest as though a criminal and then led to the governor.

He bore calumnies in silence and submitted to his sentence, although he could have refuted the false witnesses.

He was spat upon by slaves and by the vilest menials.

He delivered himself up to death, the most shameful death known to men.

Thus, from his birth to the end of his life, he experienced all the exigencies that befall mankind and, after displaying humility to such a degree, he manifested his glory, associating with himself in glory those who had shared his disgrace.

—Basil of Caesarea, Homily 20.6, as cited in Michael A. G. Haykin, Rediscovering the Church Fathers: Who They Were and How They Shaped the Church (Wheaton: Crossway, 2011), 115.

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