God’s unique Son extended a tender invitation to everyone burdened by sin and sorrow: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30). Jesus claimed to be humble, and we believe him. But how can we? Isn’t it somehow arrogant of him to proclaim his own humility?
Jesus not only declared himself humble but also accepted worship. The man born blind received sight after rinsing his eyes in the pool of Siloam. When he learned that the one who had healed him was “the Son of man” (i.e., the Messiah), he confessed faith in Jesus and “worshiped him” (John 9:35-38). Is accepting worship characteristic of humility?
Paul’s warning to the church at Rome helps us arrive at a satisfying answer to our perplexing question. He instructs every Christian “not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think” (Rom. 12:3). Arrogance is having an exaggerated opinion of oneself. If an employee demands the obedience of his boss, he is puffed up. But is it arrogant for a loving father to require obedience of his toddler son? No. Dad is merely recognizing his appropriate place in the child’s life.
As God’s unique Son, Jesus is incapable of pride in relation to other people. How could someone perfect in nature and infinite in every attribute exaggerate his own importance? By accepting the worship of men and women, the Lord is merely acknowledging his proper role in relation to humanity.