Thursday, October 23, 2008

Radical Humility 2

Let's look in Philippians 2, verses 5-8 (TM).
  • "Let this mind be in you..." This is an invitation to a kind of incarnation, this mind "... which was also in Christ Jesus..." It's also a doorway into His humility.
  • "...Who, being in the form of God..." This echoes:
    •  Paul's words in Hebrews 1:3 (TM) where he calls Jesus "the express image" of God.
    • John's words in John 1:1 (TM) where it says "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
    • Jesus' words concerning Himself in John 14:9 (TM) where He tells Philip something like, "If you've seen me, you've seen the Father."
  • "...did not consider it robbery to be equal with God..." This is a really difficult translation. I don't think the NKJ does it justice. NIV says, "...did not consider equality with God something to be grasped..." which seems much more clear. This seems (to me) to reveal so much about the Lord's humility:
    • "...equality with God..." - This is Jesus. Equal. With. God.
    • "...did not consider..." - Jesus had a choice, an opinion. There's no hubris in Him. 
    • "...something to be grasped..." - For one thing, Jesus could step out of and back into these privileges at will. In Matthew 4:6 (TM), we see through Satan's quote of Psalm 91:11, 12 (TM) that this is true. Through this sober self-assessment (TM), the Lord saw Himself as He truly is and acted confidently based on that.
  • "...became obedient to the point of death..." - Here we see this extreme form of humility resulting in an absolute form of obedience. No wonder that Jesus labels obedience the truest mark of love (TM).

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