Download a PDF of the Bible Study: Humility is a Big Deal.
The point of this lesson is to see that humility is actually a by-product of faith. It comes from trusting God, who has given us salvation in Jesus Christ and continues to give us every good thing we need. It’s a big deal to God because the humble heart is able to receive His gifts while the proud heart spurns His gifts for a self righteous confidence.
Here’s your mission: Discover why HUMILITY is such a big deal to God. (And why it should be a big deal to us as His people.)
Starter: Share a time in your life when you were humbled. Why did it happen and what did you learn from it?
Read Luke 14:7-11.
- What’s the danger of picking the best seat for yourself? (v.8-9) When are you tempted to do that in your life?
(You get booted to the lowest seat at the table, humiliated before the very people you tried to impress.)
- What’s the benefit, according to Jesus, of picking the lower seat? (v.10) What might this look like for you?
(Someone else moves you to a higher seat and everyone there will take notice.)
- Jesus uses this parable to make a spiritual point. What’s that point? (v.11) What do you think it means to “exalt” yourself? How about “humble” yourself?
(The point Jesus makes is that if we humble ourselves before God, He will lift us up. God knows our lives and has a plan for them [Psalm 139:16] and we can trust Him for our good.)
Jesus uses the same closing line in Luke 18:9-14.
- How does the Pharisee “exalt” himself before God? (v.11-12) How do people “exalt” themselves like that today?
(Self justification, trying to prove that they’re not bad people. Explain all the good things they do, without listing the bad. Encourage students to share their thoughts on how people their age do this.)
- How does the tax collector “humble” himself before God? (v.13) Do you ever feel like the tax collector? (He realizes he has nothing to boast about before God. Encourage discussion about how our lives aren’t perfect, especially before a holy God and how, based on their own merits, they have much in common with the tax collector.)
Why is humility so important to God?
Spiritually proud people believe they can do everything on their own and point to their own achievements to prove they’re good enough before God. They want to say, “Look what I’ve earned!”
Spiritually humble people realize they can’t do it on their own and they need God’s help. They are open to His gift.
Take a look at Romans 6:23.
What wages do the proud earn?
What gift do the humble receive?
Humility comes from remembering that God is God, and we are not. It comes from gratefully remembering that we have received the greatest gift of salvation and life in Jesus Christ, and whatever else we need, God will also provide for us. Therefore, in light of God’s love and promise, we can be humble before others, trusting God will “exalt” us, or bless us, in His own time and in His own way.
Take a look at 1 Peter 5:5-7.
- According to Peter, why can you take the lower seat and humble yourself? (v.7)
(Because He cares for you—He’s got your back, so you can cover others’.)
- As you think about all you have in Jesus Christ, how does that help you to be humble?
- What are some times when it is challenging for you to be humble …at home? …with your friends? …before God?
- What are some ways this week you might apply what you have learned?
- So, summing it all up, why is HUMILITY so big of a deal to God (and us)?