“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.“ - Philippians 2:5-11
I will start this off with the beginning of a statement, followed by ways to finish that statement:
Jesus came to earth from heaven to:
1. Be God on earth.
2. Be man on earth.
Hint: This is a trick question. However the answer is in the verses quoted above.
I will help. The word to notice is “bondservant”. It is true that Jesus came as God in human form. He often made statements that could only qualify as something only God could say (John 8:57-59). The verse above says He came “in the likeness of men” but it was to the end that He came as a bondservant.
He said in Mark that He came not to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). Gods do not serve, neither do men, and men will fight to make sure that they live or die free.
However, Jesus was God, and He was Man, but He came to be a servant or, more accurately, a slave. In almost every instance where He was asked to do something, like heal or answer a question, He did it. The only time He did not do someone's wishes it was because it was an affront to the will and Person of God (Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 23:7-9). Jesus as a slave, when power was available to Him, only used that power for the benefit of the powerless. He forgave sinners, healed the sick, and taught the foolish.
Plus in all He did it was never something where He gained. In fact, He suffered loss as slaves often do.
His greatest service and therefore loss? Think of two large pieces of wood and three nails, with a lot of blood and broken flesh.
God has every right to exercise His power for His own will. Yet Jesus, as God, laid aside His prerogatives of deity for the benefit of the ungodly. That would be you and me. When power was revealed through Him it was not because He was God, though He was. It was because He exemplified a Man, a Servant, depending on God the Father and His Spirit. He made good use of His unique relationship with His Father, only to lose.
This pattern was especially evident on the cross, along with a slave's loss. It was so powerful it made Him cry out in loneliness and grief (Matthew 27:46).
He did this for people who will fight for their freedom, identity and to avoid loss, those who hate dependence and are unwilling to admit need. In fact, it was done for people who prefer to see themselves as God and act like it while never having that right.
He had the right and set it aside, to be a slave in the most awful sense.
Yet look at how the quoted section of verse begins: “ Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”
Paul starts with a challenge: Have the mindset Jesus had.
Because Jesus had the right to be God but set it aside instead, we who have no such right should be like Him. While we may be inclined to seek to be something we are not, we should be what Jesus chose willingly and expect to suffer loss as a slave, as He did.
It would be an offense to say that God becoming man is like us becoming an amoeba. For us to become a one-celled creature is a finite leap. For Jesus to become a Man was an infinite leap. And yet that was not enough for Him for while a Man He condescended even further to be less than a Man by being a slave.
“Let this mind be in” us.
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