In the midst of a strong message of condemnation directed toward the scribes and Pharisees, we find a significant principle tucked away: vs.12 “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” The self-evident pride of the Pharisees was well known to the common Israeli, certainly to Jesus. Later on, in vs 33 of this same chapter, Jesus calls them, “serpents” and a “generation of vipers.” Wow! Talk about hard preaching. But vs 33 has less to do with them, and more to do with the origin of their sin. It’s not just pride, but the pride of the Serpent. This pride, specifically, is that which causes anyone to be, “abased.”
Now I don’t have the time or space to expound on this as much as I’d like. So I will summarize this incredible, Scriptural truth, by using an outline that I pray will be of great benefit and encouragement to your spiritual walk.
1. Lucifer fell in pride because he desired to, “be like the most High.” (Is 14:11-17)
2. Adam & Eve fell in the same pride of the Serpent: “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” (Gen 3, I John 2:16)
3. Un-repentant sinners who walk in their pride will be abased, and perish in the same manner as the Serpent. (Luke 13:3, Rom 6:23, Rev 20:15)
4. Repentant sinners will receive a gift they don’t deserve, nor lifted themselves up to achieve: eternal life, glory, and exhaltation through the promise of being made, “like Him.” (John 17, Rom 6:23, Eph 1, Jas 4:6, I John 1:2)
So to summarize: at salvation, we receive a most glorious gift that we neither deserve, nor asked for. When we are glorified together with Christ, and one day made “like him,” only then will we truly understand the fullness of what He’s given unto us! It is this glory that Lucifer selfishly sought amiss; poured upon the humble, vessels of mercy. It is the epitome of what it means for the exalted to be abased, and the abased to be exalted. Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift!