The disciples argued just before Jesus left for Gethsemane on the evening of his betrayal, denial, and trial. The argument was an attempt to set rank. Jesus would show them what really mattered.
First, Jesus went to pray. He humbled himself before God asking the cup of suffering be taken away. Instead of the way some pray — raising a hand to God and demanding for help — Jesus said, “Not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
Judas, paid the price of a slave by the priests and scribes to identify Jesus for the guards, came next. When Peter cut off the ear of one of them, Jesus again showed his humility saying, “shall I not drink the cup my Father has given me?” (John 18:11).
Peter denied Jesus as the Lord had prophesied. There were no words of reprimand from the Lord to his disciple. Just a look that turned Peter to tears.
Jesus stood before the Sanhedrin in an illegal trial that night. Trials were only to be conducted during the day according to Jewish law. Liars spoke against the son of God, against the eighth commandment God gave Moses. Instead of protesting the injustice, Jesus allowed it.
The Lord could have stopped all of these proceedings against him. He could have used force to avoid them all, but he did not. Not only did we need Jesus to die for our sins, but also, we needed to see the greatest lesson in humility we would ever receive.
Many people celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25th. Yet, Jesus said he was born to die for all. Jesus told Pilate that he was a king, but his servants were not fighting to deliver him (John 18:36-37).
Humility does not matter to many people. The usual battle cry is, “Don’t get mad, get even.” But, where would we have found redemption if not for his brave submission to God’s will? We have been redeemed from sin and have had our feet placed on the path to heaven because of Jesus’ humble acceptance of God’s plan. Without it, we would never have had the benefit of his blood to cleanse us.
Yes, the manger tells of the birth of the king. But, the prayer, betrayal, denial, and trial tell us of a different kind of king. We are told about a king none had ever seen before: the humble King Jesus.