Learn from me, for I am mild-tempered and lowly in heart.
During his earthly ministry, Jesus spoke and acted in ways that revealed genuine humility. He never called undue attention to himself. Instead, he directed all glory to his Father. He never talked down to his disciples or made them feel inferior. Rather, he dignified them, praising them for the good he saw in them and expressing his confidence in them. Jesus outstandingly showed humility by his obedience. Unlike arrogant individuals who disdain obedience, Jesus humbly submitted to God’s will for him, becoming “obedient to the point of death.” Is it not clear that Jesus, the Son of man, was “lowly in heart”?
Jesus certainly set the ultimate example in humility and provided a model which we must imitate.
But Jesus is no longer a lowly man. He is a powerful spirit who has been given all authority over heaven and earth. As such Jesus intends to judge the living and the dead. First, though, Jesus will judge those who call themselves by the name of his God.
The apostle John, who knew Jesus well when he was a man, saw a vision of Jesus as he exists now in the heavens. John described his entranced encounter in the 1st chapter of Revelation: “Moreover, his head and his hair were white as white wool, as snow, and his eyes were like a fiery flame, and his feet were like fine copper when glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars, and out of his mouth a sharp, long, two-edged sword was protruding, and his countenance was like the sun when it shines at its brightest. When I saw him, I fell as dead at his feet.”
Although we may assume Jesus is still lowly in heart and mild tempered, just as he on two occasions was driven by his zeal for his Father’s house to throw out the moneychangers, so too, he will war against the hypocrites and false brothers who exist in his congregation during the Lord’s day. John peered farther into the future, recording the following warnings of Christ:
“Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first. If you do not, I will come to you, and I will remove your lamp stand from its place, unless you repent.”
“In the same way, you also have those adhering to the teaching of the sect of Nicolaus. So repent. If you do not, I am coming to you quickly, and I will war against them with the long sword of my mouth.”
“Look! I am about to throw her into a sickbed, and those committing adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. And I will kill her children with deadly plague, so that all the congregations will know that I am the one who searches the innermost thoughts and hearts, and I will give to you individually according to your deeds.”
“I know your deeds, that you have the name that you are alive, but you are dead. Become watchful, and strengthen the things remaining that were ready to die, for I have not found your works fully performed before my God. Therefore, continue mindful of how you have received and how you heard, and go on keeping it, and repent. Certainly unless you wake up, I will come as a thief, and you will not know at all at what hour I will come upon you.”
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or else hot. So because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich and have acquired riches and do not need anything at all,’ but you do not know that you are miserable and pitiful and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may become dressed and that the shame of your nakedness may not be exposed, and eyesalve to rub in your eyes so that you may see.”
“Let the one who has an ear hear what the spirit says to the congregations.”