Words can cause all kinds of problems, can’t they? One word, badly chosen, can make a conversation explode into an argument. Another word, badly chosen, can keep the seriousness of a situation from being realized. In as many cases as not, it is the hearer’s interpretation that makes things go awry.
So preventing confusion is very important especially in a setting that is pretty much a one-way conversation. I cannot even see the confused look on your faces, when I make no sense at all.
If today’s passage looks vaguely familiar to you, it should. Haha. After all, we worked through the first 4 verses last time. As I was reading through the last entry, this morning, I realized that the words used in the ESV could be confusing. So, we are going to do some clarifying today. Please forgive me for all the repetition but I think it is necessary.
Philippians 2:5-11 ESV
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And then being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Verses 5-8 in the NIV read this way:
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who being the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. and being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient to death – even death on a cross.
Verses 5-8 in the Amplified read this way:
Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus – let Him be your example in humility –
Who although, being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained; But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity] so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being.
And after He had appeared in human form He abased Himself and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of [the] cross!
What I really want you to see here is that Jesus was not just similar to God. Jesus was God. Jesus is God. I am confident that most if not all of you know this but “being in the form of God”, as the ESV says it, could be confusing to a person who has not spent much time studying God’s Word.
If we go back to John 1:1-2, and 14, which we studied through, a while back, we can see that God’s Word is clear that Jesus is God and that He has always been in existence. He did not come into being when He was born a baby in Bethlehem. He then, took on human form so that He could carry out the work of our redemption and salvation, but He had always been in heaven with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Now onto Verses 9-11:
Therefore, God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
So Jesus was completely obedient and humbled Himself as was God the Father’s plan from the beginning, and now – He has been restored to His great and grand glory. He sits in heaven at the right hand of the throne of God.
At the sound of His name, demons tremble, kings kneel, hearts are free and rejoice. One day in the not too distant future every single person will even admit that Jesus Christ is Lord – though they have denied it with every breath up to that point.
God will establish who is really in charge here and we will be with Him! Thanks be to God!
Lord, thank You for loving us and bringing us to You. Thank You that You are in control here. Thank You for allowing us to know You through Your Word. Help us to be what You want us to be. Please help us also to bring You glory all the days of our lives. In Jesus’s lovely name, I pray. Amen.
Go Deeper Today: