This article is part of the Gentle and also Lowly: A 14-Day Devotional series.

You are watching: What does lowly mean in the bible

Day 1

Come to me, all who labor and also are hefty laden, and also I will certainly give you remainder. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will discover remainder for your souls. For my yoke is straightforward, and also my burden is light.—Matthew 11:28–30

The Greek word analyzed “gentle” below occurs simply 3 various other times in the New Testament: in the first beatitude, that “the meek” will inherit the earth (Matt. 5:5); in the prophecy in Matthew 21:5 that Jesus the king “is coming to you, humble, and also installed on a donkey”; and in Peter’s encouragement to wives to nurture more than anything else “the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Pet. 3:4).

Meek. Humble. Gentle. Jesus is not trigger-happy. Not harsh, reactionary, conveniently exasperated. He is the a lot of expertise perkid in the universe. The posture a lot of natural to him is not a pointed finger however open arms.

The interpretation of the word “lowly” overlaps via that of “gentle,” together communicating a solitary fact around Jesus’s heart. This particular word lowly is mainly analyzed “humble” in the New Testimony, such as in James 4:6: “God opposes the proud yet gives grace to the humble.”


But typically throughout the New Testament this Greek word refers not to humility as a virtue but to humility in the sense of destitution or being thrust downward by life circumstance.

In Mary’s song while pregnant via Jesus, for example, this word is supplied to sheight of the way God exalts those who are “of humble estate”. Paul provides the word as soon as he tells us to “not be haughty, however associate through the lowly”, referring to the socially unimpressive, those that are not the life of the party but quite reason the organize to cringe once they present up.

The suggest in saying that Jesus is lowly is that he is accessible. For all his resplendent glory and also dazzling holiness, his supreme uniqueness and also otherness, no one in humale history has actually ever been even more approachable than Jesus Christ.

No prerequisites. No hoops to jump with. The minimum bar to be enfolded right into the take on of Jesus is simply: open up yourself as much as him. It is all he needs. Indeed, it is the only point he functions with. Verse 28 of our passage in Matthew 11 tells us clearly that qualifies for fellowship with Jesus: “all who labor and also are heavy laden.”

Jesus Christ’s desire that you find rest, that you come in out of the storm, outstrips even your very own.

You don’t should unburden or collect yourself and also then involved Jesus. Your incredibly burden is what qualifies you to come. No payment is required; he states, “I will certainly offer you rest.” His remainder is gift, not transactivity. Whether you are actively functioning difficult to crowbar your life right into smoothness or passively finding yourself weighed down by something outside your regulate, Jesus Christ’s desire that you find rest, that you come in out of the storm, outstrips even your own.

“Gentle and also lowly.” This, according to his very own testimony, is Christ’s very heart. This is who he is. Tender. Open. Welcoming. Accommodating. Understanding. Willing.

If we are asked to say only one point about who Jesus is, we would certainly be honoring Jesus’s very own teaching if our answer is, gentle and also lowly.

Subscribe to the Gentle and Lowly podcast by means of Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, or RSS.


Dane C. Ortlund(PhD, Wheaton College) serves as senior pastor of Naperville Presbyterian Church in Naperville, Illinois. He is the writer ofGentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and SufferersandDeeper: Real Change for Real Sinners. Dane and also his wife, Stacey, have actually 5 youngsters.

Popular Articles in This Series

View All


His Ways Are Not Our Ways

Dane C. Ortlund

April 12, 2020

Jesus isn’t favor you. Even the the majority of intense of huguy love is however the faintest echo of heaven’s cascading abundance.


For the Pleasure Set Before Him

Dane C. Ortlund

April 02, 2020

When you come to Christ for mercy and love and also aid in your anguish and perplexity and also sinfulness, you are going with the flow of his very own deepest wishes, not versus them.


The Touch of Compassion

Dane C. Ortlund

April 01, 2020

When Jesus, the Clean One, touched an unclean sinner, Christ did not come to be unclean. The sinner came to be clean.

See more: 4 Reasons Why Does My Room Get So Hot ? Try These Fixes Why Is My Room So Hot


Draw Near

Dane C. Ortlund

April 03, 2020

It is in “our weaknesses” that Jesus sympathizes with us. His is a love that cannot be hosted ago once he sees his civilization in pain.