These are John’s notes as he listened to Kyle Idleman’s message titled The Inside-Out Way of Jesus: Humbled To Be Exalted (week 2) from May 25, 2014.
John’s goal was to capture Idleman’s presentation in text to make it easier to analyze and think about. These notes reflect what John understood Idleman to be say (absent any of John’s thoughts or opinions about Idleman’s presentation).
Jesus comes on the scene as a rabi and a teacher… turns everything upside and and inside out.. and raises the bar
Jesus tell us not to be just counter-cultural but counterintuitive, in ways that just doesn’t feel right
“Faith is an inside out job. it begins with the work God does in us and what he does in us becomes through us”
Jesus challenges people that what matters is inward appearance not outward
Open to Luke 18 (doesn’t look at chapter, skips directly to story)
Skips to story of avalanche and how easy it is to become disoriented in a situation like that–can’t figure out which end is up. they try to dig out in the wrong way–we do the same thing with our lives.
Jesus is now going to give directions to people headed the wrong direciton that think they are–the way to the top is actual down, “a reality check”. This addresses those of us focused on getting to certain place up the level or focused on success.
Luke 18:14–“everyone who exalts himself will be humbled. and everyone who humbles himself will be exalted” Jesus CHALLENGES EVERYTHING WE ARE TOLD CULTURALLY. If you want to be exalted you don’t make much of yourself or trying to up yourself in comparison to others. If you want to be exalted you humble yourself. The way to greatness is down not up.
Examines story of the Pharisee praying and thanking God that he’s not as bad as others. If you hear the story and think it’s not for you, then you have self identified as it being about you.
Observation of how easy it is to fall in the thinking of “I would never say/do/be as bad as other people.”
If you don’t have people in your life that can confront you there’s a pride issue present
When we refuse to say we’re sorry or acknowledge our failings we are saying we are better than other people.
“It’s not me, it’s you”–blaming others is a result of pride to let ourselves off the hook
When Kyle is driving his son to school he “talks” the other drivers–it’s always their fault 😉
Pride causes us to say “It’s not fair” when someone else gets something we think we deserved more.
If I have a hard time celebrating something else someone else earned or received this reveals that I think think I’m more deserving than they are… so we are ungrateful or discontent… which leads to gossip.
Telling people we don’t need help is a form of pride… we are dependent on ourselves, we don’t think we need God’s help.
When we focus our faith on the outside and outward appearance it leads to a performance
Matthew 25… Jesus referring to the Pharisees everything they do is a show for others not portraying who they really are.
Social media makes it easy to fall into presenting the best version of ourselves and performing and controlling experiences–the “outside” We only post the positive moments that cast ourselves in the best light… you don’t take pictures of your family fighting in the car.
A visitor at church told Kyle they felt like they knew him from social media, but they don’t really since Kyle only shows social media what he wants them to see.
When we make our faith on the outside we compare ourselves to other people like the Pharisee… typically we “compare down” which leads to pride. when we compare up it leads to insecurity which is just another form of pride because we are being more self conscious of ourselves than we should be.
Social media makes the comparison trap come easier since everyone puts up the best versions of themselves and everyone compares these best versions. To best other people we download (and apply) filters, etc. to make pictures look better than they really do.
It’s a novelty when people post pictures without filters and so they add a hashtag of #nofilter. And yet some people post pictures dishonestly that were taken with a filter which they have tagged as #nofilter.
We present to the world a version of ourselves that isn’t real
When we put the focus of our faith on the outside we always end up putting our confidence in our accomplishments instead of Jesus Christ. So when we think about how good of a Christian we are we point to what we do and what we’ve done–what people see.
Warren Wiersbe quote about what Pharisees were all about.. “they exalted themselves at the expense of other people.”
Verse 13 Jesus continues with parable and describes the tax collector, standing at a distance, who beats his chest and prays “God have mercy on me a sinner.”
The tax collector standing at a distance means he was not doing a show, damage control, or seeking approval (compared to the pharisee).
“So the question is, when is the last time you prayed at a distance?” You’re on your own. Not because it was a meal, church time or because other people could see you.
Because the tax collector does not look to heaven as he prays this demonstrates his humility and acknowledgement of his sin. This shows that “it” (his faith) is “inside”–coming from his heart.
Pharisee thinks God should be impressed with him, but God is not impressed with those who want to impress him.
Instead tax collector has no illusions of righteousness and simply asks for God’s mercy because there’s nothing he can do.
Jesus drops the bomb and turns everything inside out by rebuking the prayer of the pharisee and commends the prayer of the tax collector.
Jesus says the tax collector was the one that went home “right with God” not the Pharisee in spite of all the effort he had exerted
People come to church looking for super natural solutions to the problems they have in their lives wondering what they need to do, action steps, to get their situation fixed…. “there is no substitute for humbling yourself before God.”
Most people are looking for practical steps to execute in order to solve their problem or struggle–they want to know what they need to change or do. The answer to is to “stand at a distance, beat your chest and say ‘God have mercy’ don’t make your case, don’t tell God why you deserve it or how lucky God is because he has you… there is no substitute for humbling yourself before God.”
There is no substitute… “We see it consistently in the Bible. When we are humble of heart that what’s draws the attention of God. Jesus says if you exalt yourself you’ll be humbled. If you humble yourself you’ll be exalted.”
The key part is: “He who humbles himself. It’s not how we think of humility. We think of being humbled, that it’s something that happens to us. It’s not something we do. we are passive in it.”
“It (the Bibles) says the one who humbles himself. You’re not passive, you’re active in this process. This makes all the difference in carrying with it the promise of being exalted, that you humble yourself.”
Tells story of Nik Wallenda (tight rope walker) and how he picks up trash for hours after completing an event to remain humble because as Nik puts it “being humble does not come naturally for me.”
Bible talks about pride coming before a fall.
Philippians 2:5 — “…He humbled himself and became obedient to death, death on a cross. He MADE himself nothing. He humbled himself.”
Voluntary confession (different from being humbled by someone else) is a way of humbling yourself and God exalts those who humble themselves.
Another way to humble myself is to give selflessly and anonymously.
Giving sacrificially–because I gave I’m not able to get, it makes a clear statement that I am less important than the kingdom of God.
Treat others better than myself… there’s a promise attached to this, God exalts those who humble themselves.
Asking for help is humbling when think we can do it ourselves.
“The sooner I ask for help the sooner I make room for God’s blessing. So you humble yourself and say ‘I need some help here.'”
What are some ways you can humble yourself this week?
Philippians 2:9–Because Jesus humbled himself and made himself nothing, God exalted him to the highest possible place. This is example we follow. One day every knee will bow, in other words, everyone will be humbled.
“So look, you can either humble yourself or you can be humbled, either way, it ends up by taking a knee, but now is an opportunity to humble yourself, to receive the promise.”
“When Jesus returns everyone is going to be humbled, but now we are invited to humble ourselves.”