Jesus Christ – Philippians 2.5-11
I saved the best for last; Jesus Himself is the quintessential example of how not to become a “Soular Eclipse.” Now before I start unpacking this, let me give you my disclaimers. First, I know that any illustration trying to express the deity and humanity of Christ is going to fall short in describing the mind blowing union of God and Man. Second, I completely believe that Jesus has always been 100% God and will always be 100% God as the second person of the Trinity and at no time was He anything less than deity. Third, I believe that Jesus the Messiah is God incarnate and is 100% human. Now that have tried to express my Christology, let me venture into some tricky territory with my illustration.
Part of Jesus’s purpose in coming as a man was to be an example of what all we were meant to be as “image bearers’ of God. In other words, He meant to show us how it’s done. He would carry out the design of man with perfection not only to show it could be done but how to do it. He lived a life of perfect alignment with the Father by not only NOT doing the things we shouldn’t do but by DOing the things we should do. He lived out His purpose perfectly. This not only made Him an acceptable sacrifice for the sins of mankind, it made Him the ultimate example to follow. Basically, Jesus became the perfect full moon reflecting the glorious light of the sun (the Father). That part we readily get. Of course, Jesus was the light of the world. Of course, Jesus did exactly what the Father told Him to do. Of course, Jesus reflected no light of His own… (Sound of screeching record, FULL STOP). Whoa, wait just a minute! I thought you said you believed Jesus is God?! I did. Let’s look at Philippians 2.5-11.
|Verse 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus||The Apostle Paul is clearly pointing to Jesus as an example to follow. In this particular passage it is to mimic Jesus’s attitude.|
|Verse 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped||Paul expresses his conviction the Jesus is definitely God but Jesus had a specific attitude about being God. Jesus didn’t count His equality with God a thing grasped, taken hold of, tapped into.|
|Verse 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.||Jesus emptied Himself. Some take this to mean He stopped being God for a time while on earth and then started being God again after the ascension. That’s some Bad Theology. Jesus has been and will always will be 100% God. Let’s keep it in the realm of what Paul suggests in the beginning. “Have this attitude…” Jesus’s attitude was “I came here as a man, I’m going to act like a man. I’m going to show the people how to love God and love people as man.”|
|Verse 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.||The key is humility. He not only humbled Himself before God the Father, He humbled Himself before us. It’s like Superman disguising himself as Clark Kent but the difference is He only lived as Clark Kent and never tapped into His super powers (even when He was dying on a cross). You may ask, well how did He do all those miracles than? By being in alignment with the Father. These are the same miracles His disciples did when they aligned themselves with the Father in Jesus name.|
|Verses 9-11 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.||And what is the result? Exaltation! Remember the lesson the Apostle Peter learned? If you humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, you’ll be exalted at the proper time (1 Peter 5.5-6). And who did Peter learn this from? Who was the example to follow? JESUS!|
So Jesus humbled Himself by coming in the form of man in complete submission to the Father, and surrendered the right and privileged to exercise His divine power at anytime between His birth and Death on a cross. (Mark 10.45, John 5.19,30, 6.38) He perfectly reflected the Father’s glory while suppressing His own. (John 17.1- 5) He never supplanted the Father’s leadership in peoples lives to elevate Himself. With all power and authority, He never became a “Soular Eclipse.” He is our ultimate example of One being in spiritual leadership under God’s and yet not getting in the way.
And now how has the Father exalted Jesus? It’s worth reading again because this is the One whom we should avoid eclipsing at all costs;
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2.9-11)
To be continued…