Here Paul is writing to the Philippians, instructing them to be humble like Christ. This passage is comparative to Isaiah 53, the prophecy of the suffering servant.
There are several characteristics of Christ brought about in this passage of scripture:
- He has consistently existed with God.
- He is equivalent to God since He is God. (John 1:1, Colossians 1:15-19).
- Even though He is God, He became a man to satisfy God's arrangement of salvation. (John 1:14, Galatians 4:4).
- He did not simply profess to have a man's body; He became a man to relate to man's wrongdoings.
- He intentionally dismissed His heavenly rights and benefits out of affection for His Father.
- He died on the cross for our wrongdoings so we would not need to confront everlasting death.
- He was glorified by God because of His obedience.
God raised Him to the right hand of the Father where He will rule as our Lord and Savior forever. The case of our Lord Jesus Christ is set before us. We should take after Him in His life if we would have the advantage of His death. There are two natures of Christ: one Divine nature, and one human. Who being as God, shared the Divine nature, as the endless and just generated Son of God, had not thought it a theft to be equivalent with God, and to get Divine love from humanity? In human nature, Jesus became like us in everything aside from wrongdoing.
Of His own will, He stepped down from Heaven, where he had been with the Father before the world was. Christ did not just take upon him the resemblance and type of a man, yet of one of an exceptionally low state; not showing up in grandeur. His entire life was an existence of destitution and languishing. In any case, the lowest state was His passing on the cross, the demise of a criminal and a slave; presented to open disdain and contempt. Christ's human nature was exalted in association with the Divine.
In the name and the authority of Jesus, all should pay reverence. It is to the magnificence of God the Father, to admit that Jesus Christ is Lord; for it is his will, that all men should respect the Son as they respect the Father. (John 5:23). Here we see such intentions to self-denying love as nothing else can supply. Do we in this manner adore and comply with the Son of God?
In verses 5-8:
- Jesus left glory.
- Made Himself of no reputation -emptied Himself of His deity.
- Took upon Himself the form of a servant.
- Made in the likeness of men.
- Humbled Himself.
- Became obedient.
- Even the death of the cross.
In verses 9-11:
- God has exalted Him.
- Given a name above names.
- The name of Jesus – means Savior, (Matthew 1:21-23).
- Every knee shall bow, of things in heaven.
- And things in earth.
- And things under the earth.
- Every tongue shall confess.
- What was Jesus’ attitude? Did He complain and murmur? Who has never complained or murmured when told to do something that we did not want to do?
He was cursed:
- Galatians 3:13, ‘Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree.’
He learned obedience:
- Hebrews 5:8, ‘though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.’
He was exalted:
- Hebrews 1:4, ‘being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.’
Believers should have an attitude that enables us to lay aside our rights in order to serve others. If we say we are believers of Christ, then we should want to live as he lived. We should also develop an attitude of humility as we serve, just as Christ did; even though we may not get recognized for our service. Can you accept the fact that the pain involved in obedience may benefit those you serve and not you?
- Power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
- Obedience to God’s Word.
- Sacrificial service.
- Influence of faithful Christians.
- Even those condemned will recognize the authority of Jesus at the last judgment.
- Everyone can decide to see Him as Lord now, in loving and willing commitment, or be compelled to recognize Him as Lord when He returns.
- Who among us is prepared to meet Him?