By Francis Frangipane
all virtues, Jesus elevated meekness above the rest. Why humility? It
is the door opener to grace, and no virtue enters our lives except that
humility acknowledges our need and requests virtue to come. Without
humility, we see no reason to change or appropriate future grace.
humility not only hosts the other virtues, it is also the life essence
that sustains them. It is humility that recognizes when love is growing
cold and humility that confesses our need for greater purity. Without
humility, our virtues harden into lifeless statues; we are outwardly
religious, but inwardly unable to change.
is the taproot of true nobility. For it provides increase to wholeness,
and life and maturity to all other virtues. It is the antidote to
Phariseeism and the cure for a Jezebelian attitude.
when Jesus was asked by His disciples, "Who then is the greatest in the
Kingdom of Heaven?" He put a child in their midst. He said, "Whoever
then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the Kingdom of
Heaven" (Matt. 18:1,4).
What a sublime wonder! In Heaven, the height of greatness is measured by the depth of one's humility.
Consider Wuest's Expanded Translation of Jesus' statement:
he who is of such a nature as to humble himself like this little child,
esteeming himself small inasmuch as he is so, thus thinking truly, and
because truly, therefore humbly of himself, this person is the greatest
in the Kingdom of Heaven."
Jesus came to establish
Heaven in the lives of His followers. Thus, He introduces the realm of
God to His disciples with the words, "Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matt 5:3).
the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to the "poor in spirit." Who are these
poor? They are people who "know their need" (Goodspeed Translation).
Beloved, there are people in Heaven who were sinners on Earth. The
streets of God's kingdom are filled with people who, at some time or
another, failed and fell short. There are adulterers who've been washed
and cleansed by Christ's blood, ex-drug dealers and prostitutes whose
hearts are filled with praise to God - all who came face to face with
their need, repented and found forgiveness of their sins.
But there is not one proud individual in Heaven. There are no self-righteous beings in Heaven.
on earth we see the strutting pride - the air of self-importance -
manifest in leaders and celebrities. Again, we behold the air of false
superiority in our cultural prejudices. We see unrepentant pride in the
conflicts that lead to divorce and the offspring of pride - envy and
jealousy - in the inordinate desire of men to be glorified before other
Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to the
poor in spirit! Not the perfect, but the poor. Yes, we are called to
standards of perfection, and strive we must toward that upward call. Yet, perfection in Heaven is measured, not in degrees of self-sufficiency, but in degrees of dependency and surrender. We can search for an eternity and we will observe truly: there dwells not one proud soul in all of Heaven.
we cry for revival and pray for breakthroughs, and persevere we must.
Yet the Lord's eyes are upon a certain individual. He says,
thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is
Holy, ‘I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and
lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive
the heart of the contrite'" (Isa.57:15).
were arguing about who is greatest in the Kingdom. Jesus placed a child
in their midst. This is greatness in the Kingdom of Heaven: to possess a