I was raised in a Christian home, loved on by Christian parents, and accepted Christ at an early age. You might think this means I have some advantages, maybe even an inside track to the Holiness of God. You would be totally incorrect. I am profoundly unimpressed with myself! I don’t pray, read, or connect with Jesus often enough, taking my relationship for granted. I say things too quickly, they hurt and sting. I often rely on my own strength and power instead of going to God first. Even Solomon with all his wisdom was profoundly unimpressed with his life. Are their others?
Psalms 51: various sections ESV
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin!
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
David, after several years as King of Israel and years of defeating the enemy takes a walk on his rooftop overlooking his kingdom. He steals the wife of Uriah and then had her husband murdered. Living life for his own pleasure instead of searching out the pleasure of God for his life. He was profoundly unimpressed with himself.
Isaiah 6: 5-7 ESV
5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
Isaiah, one of the most well-known prophets and writers of the Old Testament who wrote so many prophecy’s concerning Jesus, speaks of being a man with unclean lips. You see, Isaiah pinned this so well and yet he is unimpressed with his own words. When we compare ourselves to this World, we can look pretty good, but when we compare ourselves to the wonders of God, we are not worthy. The worst gift you can receive at Christmas is coal, this means you were unworthy of anything with value. Coal was so common you found it inside every home. God uses the unworthy to demonstrate His value and worth.
Luke 5: 7-8; 22: 60-62 ESV
7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”
60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.
The passage in chapter 5 is early in the ministry, Peter looking into Jesus’ eyes, falls to his knees and is no longer impressed with himself. Something happens to Peter over the next few years of walking daily with Jesus, Peter blinds himself to who he truly is. He saw himself as the greatest of the disciples holding a seat at the right hand of Jesus. We hear Peter say the words, “Jesus I am willing to die for you!” You can see in chapter 22 that Peter after denying any knowledge of Jesus several times, takes a glance toward Jesus and their eyes meet again. Peter is no longer profoundly impressed with himself; he is a broken man.
Philippians 3: 7-9 ESV
7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith–
Paul, circumcised on the eighth day, the tribe of Benjamin, Hebrew of Hebrews, with an understanding of the law, and full of zeal. He counted every advantage in his religious walk and decided that next to Jesus it is profoundly unimpressive! Not only laid beside Jesus but just laid beside the knowledge of knowing Jesus. He did not find his worth in his own abilities, but he found surpassing worth in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Understanding that this knowledge depends on faith, trust, and a desire to have a relationship with Him.
1 Corinthians 2: 1-5 ESV
1 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
5 that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.