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Jesus' very incarnation was the epitome of both humility and grace, and His teachings echoed those qualities. God was under absolutely no obligation to rescue humanity from the eternal consequences of its own decision to sin by disobeying Him. Despite this, and although it would require the death of His own, only-begotten Son, God Himself out of pure grace (undeserved favor) became man in the person of Jesus, with all the limitations and "emptying of Himself" (Philippians 2:5-8) that that required in order that humanity might once again be able to live eternally, as God had originally intended. And He came not as a man of wealth or power, but in the form of a servant to His Father and to humanity (Matthew 20:28). Having displayed such humility and grace Himself, Jesus repeatedly stressed these qualities to His disciples. He said that people who did not display the faith, humility, and lack of pretension of little children would not enter God's kingdom (Matthew 18:1-3). He said that the person among His followers who wanted to be great in God's sight had to be a servant to the others, and that the person who wanted to be first of all had to be their slave (Matthew 20:25-27), and He dramatically demonstrated this by washing the feet of the apostles at the Last Supper (John 13:1-17). He said that those who did not freely forgive others with the same grace that God had displayed in Christ would not be forgiven of their own trespasses by God (Matthew 6:14-15). He said that the meek and those who realized that they had nothing to offer God (rather than the prideful and self-righteous) were blessed by God (Matthew 5:3, Matthew 5:5) He condemned the pretension of those who thought themselves better than others, or who sought public recognition for their outward piety and acts of charity, while praising the humility and contrition of those who realized that they were sinners who were in need of God's forgiveness (Matthew 6:1-4; Luke 18:9-14). And He provided the ultimate example of humility and grace for His disciples to follow in submitting Himself to undeserved arrest, abuse, scourging, and crucifixion for the sake of all would place their faith in the forgiveness from God that He made possible through that ordeal.
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