Updated: Jun 10
"In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV)
Wow, throughout the first few centuries of the Church the controversy raged around the divine and human natures of Christ, even though it is clearly stated here that both human and divine nature are involved. Our faith believes “that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say the Godhead and manhood, are thus united in one Person very God and very man, the God-man.”
However, if we stop there than I feel we are missing the true heart of this text. Paul continues on saying, that “[Jesus], being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant.” But then Paul also turns right around and speaks of Jesus’ upmost exalted deity in that, “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord.” This is no ordinary run of the mill man, this is nothing like we have ever expected. This is the high point of Paul’s letter to the Philippines for sure, but also one of the high points of the whole of the New Testament. Paul is telling us something more here.
His focus is far more than just the telling us of how far Jesus “plunged from the heights of glory to the depths of humiliation.” No, Paul’s focus is on showing us just how far Jesus is willing to come to be with you and me. Jesus, “did not consider equality” something valuable to hold on to. He sets it all aside to reach out to you and me and to all. His prize is your heart!
Furthermore, Paul starts these passages by saying, "In your relationships with one another", leading us to believe there is an application that Paul wants us all to get out of these words. Christ did not think His passion, His rights, His place on high as something to be used for an advantage; rather, He saw it as a chance to demonstrate to us what we should also be like—humble, caring, redeeming and saving in nature to all. The character of Christ is what Paul calls our focus to here for us to study and imitate in our own lives.
How far will Jesus go? How far will you go?