Who Do we Exalt? In Whom Do we Exult?

By Not Known

It’s a natural tendency to boost ourselves. We want to shine. We want to be
noticed. We want to be listened to. We want to be influential.

Jesus once attended a dinner where he watched big egos tripping over themselves.
It was free seating and everyone rushed for the best seat. And thus he told the
parable of the great reversal (Lke 14:7-14). We laugh and cringe as we read of a
would-be-someone who is demoted from table one to table 78! Do we see
ourselves there?

This is a parable about God’s kingdom. Everyone and anyone can enter God’s
kingdom. But there is only one entry point. We must empty ourselves of pride and .
pretence. Our ego is an enormous stumbling block that keeps us from the self-
denial involved in receiving grace.Nothing of myself I bring, simply to your Cross I

This is where we have the crossover from exalt to exult. When we exalt ourselves
we exult in ourselves. And that excludes God and our neighbour.

To exalt ourselves is to lower others. Our ego excludes love of others. This is
turned on its head in the great reversal of God’s kingdom. Thus Jesus goes on to
speak of how we are to exalt the exalted in our hospitality (Lke 14: 12-13). Our
exalting of the socially lowly is a parallel and expression of God’s exalting of the
spiritually lowly.

Our relationship with God is also involved here. Ancient Israel wanted to exalt
herself by having a king like the other nations. These were ego-boosting kings
whose military prowess lifted the nation high. But look what God said: in wanting
this kind of king they were rejecting God’s rule (1 Sam 8:7). They were both self-exalting
and self-exulting.

This is not God’s way. We are to exult in the Lord alone. As he points out to Israel
he was the one who had brought them out of Egypt and made them what they
were (1 Sam 7:8). He alone deserved exultation. It is the same for us as we
consider the new exodus through Jesus and his Cross. This is the God who saved
us – how can we exult in any other?

Let’s start here. Let’s exult in God alone as we consider his great works for us in
Christ. As our ego is thus diminished we are then free to exalt our neighbour to his
rightful place.