Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29
Did the gentleness of the Savior come as a surprise? Did the prophets of old expect the Messiah, God’s chosen one, to be gentle? He was God, after all. And no one knew better than the people of Israel what God could do when his holiness was offended.
Jesus possessed extraordinary power. He could command the elements to do his bidding. He was holy, righteous, and unblemished by sin—yet he was surrounded by sinners. He was challenged, taunted, and eventually tortured and killed by his enemies. He had every reason to be vengeful. He chose to be gentle.
The Bible also records that humility was the key to Jesus’ effectiveness—as well as to the effectiveness of his followers. By conducting himself as a servant, Jesus essentially said to his followers, “Here’s how to do it.” He understood that humble people get things done. They are ideal workers. They don’t concern themselves with credit or glory. They are content to give it all to God. Humble people concentrate on the mission at hand. That might explain how Jesus was able to change the world in three short years.
Likewise, humble people make an impression on others. They are nonthreatening and nonirritating. Few people object to their presence. Even though they don’t call attention to themselves, they stand out in a crowd. They earn the right to be heard, and when they do speak, people listen.
This blog post has been adapted from the special-magazine Who Is Jesus?, which is available in the U.S. wherever magazines are sold.