Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 14:11

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Guest;   Humility;   Jesus, the Christ;   Presumption;   Self-Exaltation;   Thompson Chain Reference - God's;   Humble, Promises to;   Promises, Divine;   The Topic Concordance - Abasement;   Exaltation;   Humbleness;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Humility;   Parables;   Presumption;   Punishment of the Wicked, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Parable;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Ethics;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Christ, Christology;   Exaltation;   Humility;   Wealth;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Hospitality;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Banquet;   Family;   Humility;   Luke, Gospel of;   Proverbs, Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Kingdom of God;   Matthew, Gospel According to;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Ambition;   Discourse;   Exaltation (2);   Love (2);   Meals;   Perfection (of Jesus);   Pride (2);   Quotations (2);   Retribution (2);   Reward;   Unity (2);  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Abase;   Ethics of Jesus;   Exalt;   Humility;   Jesus Christ (Part 2 of 2);   Meals;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Akiba ben Joseph;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

For whosoever exalteth himself, etc. - This is the unchangeable conduct of God: he is ever abasing the proud, and giving grace, honor, and glory to the humble.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 14:11". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-14.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Whosoever exalteth … - This is universal among people, and it is also the way in which God will deal with people. “Men” will perpetually endeavor to bring down those who endeavor to exalt themselves; and it is a part of God‘s regular plan to abase the proud, to bring down the lofty, to raise up those that be bowed down, and show “his” favors to those who are poor and needy.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 14:11". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-14.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

For every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

In these words, Jesus concluded this remarkable teaching; and it is one which all men should heed. A little later, Jesus would return to this same subject by relating the story of the Pharisee and the publican (Luke 18:9ff); but here he announced the eternal ethic of humility. How may men cultivate humility? They can do this in two ways: (1) They can consider the facts. No man is wise in any ultimate sense, good in any heavenly sense, or powerful in any eternal sense. Man's life is ephemeral; his days are few and full of trouble; at his best, man is above only a few of his contemporaries, and that only for a brief moment in time. "O why should the spirit of mortal be proud?" (2) They can look at the lives and achievements of others which exceed their own in excellence and glory. As Barclay suggested, "Many a man has decided to burn his clubs after watching the Golf Open Championship."[15] For further comment on the grace of humility, see under Matthew 23:12 in my Commentary on Matthew, Matthew 23:11-12.

JESUS' SPECIAL WORD TO THE HOST

The Lord had naturally included his host in the remarks addressed to the guests; but he reserved a very special word for the host himself.

ENDNOTE:

[15] William Barclay, op. cit., p. 196.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Luke 14:11". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/luke-14.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For whosoever exalteth himself,.... Either in the above way, or any other, shall be abased, humbled and mortified:

and he that humbleth himself; behaves in an humble and modest manner,

shall be exalted; See Gill on Matthew 23:12.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Luke 14:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-14.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

whosoever, etc. — couching them in a chaste simplicity and proverbial terseness of style which makes them “apples of gold in a setting of silver.” (See on Luke 18:14).

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 14:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/luke-14.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Shall be humbled (ταπεινωτησεταιtapeinōthēsetai). First future passive. One of the repeated sayings of Jesus (Luke 18:14; Matthew 23:12).

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 14:11". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/luke-14.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Humbled

See Matthew 11:29.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 14:11". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/luke-14.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Matthew 23:12.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Luke 14:11". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/luke-14.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

For everyone that exalteth himself shall be humbled; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted1.

  1. For everyone that exalteth himself shall be humbled; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. This is one of our Lord's favorite maxims (Luke 18:14; Matthew 23:12). Both man and God look upon humiliation as the just punishment of pride; but it is a pleasure to every right- minded spirit to give joy to the humble by showing him respect and honor.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
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J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Luke 14:11". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-14.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

THE DOOM OF PRIDE

‘For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.’

Luke 14:11

When our Lord first began His ministerial work, and was, as it seems, looked upon as a less important person than His forerunner, His disciples were content to listen and learn. By and by His fame spread abroad, and the glory that attached itself to the Master was reflected upon the disciple, and when they were bidden even to the feasts of the wealthy, they vied for the post of honour, and one and all claimed the chief seat for themselves. Jesus saw, and as He saw He left us one of those Divine sayings which have become the heritage of mankind, and will remain such for all time—‘Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased.’

I. No reproof of healthy ambition.—Let us not allow ourselves to think that our Saviour intends to reprove a healthy ambition. No man ever did, or ever will do, any worthy work in the world without that. For a true ambition is nothing more than an instinctive desire to do our best, and to find a sphere in which we may have full play for all those powers with which God has endowed us, and that is good for us all to have.

II. But lust of supremacy condemned.—But ambition is one thing, and the lust of supremacy is another. The mere craving to be above somebody else, to have somebody else to tyrannise over, or to patronise, that is simply contemptible and bad; and that is what our Lord reproves here. Take heed how you mistake the vile counterfeit of a noble ambition for the true coin; there are some among whom to be first is to be abased; there are some places where to be chief is to be most depraved. Well for us if we bear in memory, at the right moment and in the right place, the Saviour’s words, ‘Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased.’

—Rev. Canon A. Jessopp.

Illustration

‘Humble yourself that you may be exalted; surrender yourself that you may receive the vocation; yield yourself to God that He may move forward through you to His victory; in the name of Him, Who, by this same law of spiritual advance, went up so high because He had gone so low; and because He had emptied Himself of His Godhead and been found in fashion as a man, and had humbled Himself to death, even the death upon the Cross, “was therefore by God highly exalted, and given a Name that is above every name: that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, and every tongue should confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”’

(THIRD OUTLINE)

MAN’S ABASEMENT

‘Whosoever’ from our Lord’s lips is an awful word. When a man speaks thus of the moral world, in general and sweeping terms, we are apt, and with reason, to disregard his assertions. But when He thus speaks, Whose eye nothing escapes, Who sees all from the beginning to the end, the saying carries with it an admonition to solemn self-searching.

I. ‘Lord, is it I?’—Assuredly to the fullest extent of that His assertion so shall it be; and of those included in it none shall escape. ‘Whosoever’ exalted himself—not only the proud ruler of empires, whom He casts down, not only the nation, whose self-esteem He chastens in love, but the man, wheresoever or whatsoever he be, who unduly exalts himself, his own power for good, his own importance in the world, his own advancement in the spiritual life, or whatever else forms to men the subject of self-congratulation—every such feeling shall lead to abasement.

II. The whole process of our time of trial here below will be a continued succession of examples of casting down ourselves, and exalting God within us. If thou art His, expect this every day.

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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Luke 14:11". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/luke-14.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Ver. 11. For whosoever] {See Trapp on "Matthew 23:12"}

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 14:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-14.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Luke 14:11

This is one of the sayings which we gather from the Gospels to have been frequently in our Lord's mouth, and this means that it had some variety of application—now graver, now lighter. In the passage which we just read, it was His comment on an exhibition of what we should call vanity. On the surface He seemed to point not so much to the spiritual fault which was at the root of the pushing for the first seats, as to its futility, to the punishment which certainly and speedily overtook. The first seat, so claimed, could only be held for a moment, till the host came. Then the guests would be sorted; to have placed himself too low would bring credit, and to have placed himself too high humiliation.

I. What our Lord said was typical. It was a parable in the sense that it was of a character He spoke. This was only a trait of it. Those who chose the chief places at the feast were the same class of persons as in other and more serious ways thrust themselves forward—"trusted in themselves and despised others." And it was a parable, in the sense that while speaking of an outward act and of an immediate and visible reward, He was thinking of the whole view of human life, and of the objects and rewards of human endeavour of which those were a type. It was a parable of the false and of the true estimate of greatness, of the reversal of human judgments, of the blindness and littleness of human ambitions.

II. Humility is the necessary and inevitable attitude of a Christian soul—of a soul which keeps in sight the revelation of God in Jesus Christ, which knows itself a child of God, fallen, lost, yet restored and pardoned in Him. This attitude is never lost. It affects all relations. As between themselves men vary of course greatly. God has ordered human life, and all its natural motives and situations are part of His providence. He does not wish us to blind our reason, and to say that that is good which conscience and common sense tell us to be mean and bad. He makes the desire to excel, the pleasure of success, to be the springs of energy which are generally necessary to a manly and useful life. We may sometimes puzzle ourselves if we try in theory to make it clear how such judgments on others and such natural ambitions can harmonise with the spirit of perfect humility. But the honest heart solves the difficulty in action.

E. C. Wickham, Wellington College Sermons, p. 188.


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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Luke 14:11". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/luke-14.html.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

11.] As an example of the first clause, see Isaiah 14:13-15; of the second, Philippians 2:5-11.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 14:11". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/luke-14.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 14:11. πᾶς, every one) A weighty word. [An axiom very often repeated, and that with the most impressive force; ch. Luke 18:14; Matthew 23:12.—V. g.]

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 14:11". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/luke-14.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

See Poole on "Luke 14:10"

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 14:11". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/luke-14.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

всякий, возвышающий сам себя, унижен будет Иисус оказывал предпочтение такому виду парадоксальной игры слов (ср. 9:24; 13:30; 17:33; 18:14; Мф. 23:11, 12). Это высказывание сделало понятной мысль в ст. 8-10. Суть всего этого урока созвучна с Пр. 25:6, 7.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 14:11". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-14.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Whosoever exalteth himself; is proud, and seeks to be honored above others.

Shall be abased; by God.

He that humbleth himself; who is humble, and shows it in his conduct.

Shall be exalted; honored; raised to higher dignity and influence. Proverbs 16:18-19; Matthew 5:3; Matthew 11:29; Matthew 18:4; Matthew 23:12; James 4:6. This proverb is abundantly illustrated in God’s dealings with men in this world, but will have its highest fulfilment in the world to come. The indulgence and display of pride indicate great wickedness of heart, and are sure precursors of coming abasement; while the cultivation and manifestation of humility are evidences of greatness, and harbingers of coming glory.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 14:11". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/luke-14.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

“For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

As so often the story is capped by a maxim. The one who exalts himself will find that he is at some stage humbled. He will find that he thinks more highly of himself than others think of him, and the result will be that all will at some stage know it, and he will be brought crashing down. And if it does not happen in this world, then it will happen in the Judgment. But the one who humbles himself will find that he is unexpectedly exalted, and it will come as a complete surprise, and if he belongs to Christ he will receive his reward, partly because he does not expect one.

The efforts of the self-seeker will have been put into attaining for himself the highest degree of status, into glorifying himself, and will prove finally to have been wasted effort. He will have become a victim of ‘the pride of life’. And even though he never learns it in this life, he will certainly learn it in the world beyond the grave. For death is a great leveller. The efforts of the second will have been directed at glorifying God, without any regard for status. They will thus have genuine God-like quality and have been genuine. So will such people be seen as worthy of true honour, and nowhere more so than in the world beyond the grave.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 14:11". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-14.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

11.Whosoever exalteth himself—Men do indeed often act on the reverse o this maxim. They often take the humble man at his word and increase the insignificance he admits of himself. On the contrary, impudence and assumption often have their rewards from men, by securing a consideration of their claims. And yet history warns the proud man and the proud nation to beware. The Greek philosopher, Chilo, being asked what Jupiter is doing, replied, “Abasing the lofty and exalting the lowly.” And Jesus here warns us that we shall find the same law of Jehovah verified in eternity.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 14:11". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/luke-14.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

This verse expresses the principle involved (cf. Luke 13:30; Luke 18:14; Matthew 23:12). Self-exaltation leads to humiliation whereas humility results in exaltation (cf. Proverbs 25:6-7). The principle operates in the present and in the future. It operates in social situations and in kingdom situations.

This parable then was a lesson for the Pharisees especially, but also for Jesus" disciples and everyone else present, on the importance of humility. Participants in the kingdom and honored guests in the kingdom would be those who humbled themselves by following Jesus.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Luke 14:11". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/luke-14.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 14:11. Humbled. The same word in both clauses. The principle here set forth was repeated by our Lord on a number of occasions (Matthew 23:12; Luke 18:14), and formed one of the main truths of His teaching. We are to apply it in the widest sense, but especially with reference to the kingdom of God (viewed as a feast), into which state of exaltation only the humble enter, while those who exalt themselves, not only do not enter, but are cast into a state of positive abasement.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 14:11". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/luke-14.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 14:11". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-14.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

For, &c. This is repeatedon two other occasions. Compare Luke 18:14 and Matthew 23:12.

abased = humbled.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 14:11". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/luke-14.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. The chaste simplicity and proverbial terseness of this great maxim impart to it a charm only inferior to that of the maxim itself. But see further at Luke 18:14.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 14:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/luke-14.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(11) Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased.—The reproduction of the teaching in words which are almost an echo of these, in 1 Peter 5:5, is interesting as showing the impression which it had made on the minds of the disciples.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 14:11". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-14.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
whosoever
1:51; 18:14; 1 Samuel 15:17; Job 22:29; 40:10-12; Psalms 18:27; 138:6; Proverbs 15:33; 18:12; 29:23; Isaiah 2:11,17; 57:15; Matthew 23:12; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5
Reciprocal: Genesis 32:4 - my lord;  Genesis 33:3 - bowed;  Leviticus 26:41 - humbled;  Ruth 3:9 - Ruth;  1 Samuel 9:21 - my family;  1 Samuel 10:22 - hid;  1 Kings 1:5 - exalted;  2 Kings 5:11 - Naaman;  2 Kings 14:13 - took Amaziah;  2 Chronicles 25:23 - took Amaziah;  2 Chronicles 30:11 - humbled themselves;  Esther 6:10 - Make haste;  Psalm 37:34 - exalt;  Psalm 119:21 - rebuked;  Proverbs 12:9 - despised;  Proverbs 25:14 - boasteth;  Isaiah 2:12 - upon;  Isaiah 10:33 - and the haughty;  Jeremiah 48:29 - his loftiness;  Ezekiel 28:17 - heart;  Daniel 4:30 - Is not;  Hosea 13:1 - Ephraim;  Matthew 11:23 - which art;  Matthew 18:4 - humble;  Matthew 20:12 - equal;  Mark 9:35 - If;  Mark 10:43 - whosoever;  Luke 9:48 - he that;  John 9:34 - and dost;  James 4:10 - he;  1 Peter 5:6 - Humble

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 14:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-14.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

11.For every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled. This clause makes it evident that ambition was the subject of which Christ was speaking; for he does not state what usually happens in the ordinary life of men, but declares that God will be their Judge, who resisteth the proud, and humbleth their haughtiness, but giveth grace to the humble, (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5; Psalms 138:6.) Scripture is full of similar testimonies, that God is an enemy to all who desire to exalt themselves, as all who claim for themselves any merit must of necessity make war with Him. It is a manifestation of pride to boast of the gifts of God, as if there were any excellence in ourselves, that would exalt us on the ground of our own merit. Humility, on the other hand, must be not only an unfeigned abasement, but a real annihilation of ourselves, proceeding from a thorough knowledge of our own weakness, the entire absence of lofty pretensions, and a conviction that whatever excellence we possess comes from the grace of God alone.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Luke 14:11". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/luke-14.html. 1840-57.