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Philippians  2:5-8 - page 2

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Jesus was Royalty

Because God choose for his son to be born in the linage of David (Matthew 1:1), God could declare him to be the heir to the throne of David (Luke 1:32). He determined that Jesus would rule over the house of Israel forever (Luke 1:33). And, while he was born the king of the Jews (Matthew 2:2),  Paul tells the Philippians that Jesus:

Verse 7a – "emptied himself..."

The AV and a number of other translations say: "But made himself of no reputation."  That is the case. For example, when Jesus as the future King of Israel came into the City of Jerusalem in "triumphal entry," he did not come riding on a great stead suitable for royalty. Rather, he came riding on a beast of burden – a donkey (Matthew 21:7).

Verse 7b – he "took on him the form of a bondservant"

Though he was royalty, Jesus choose to take on himself the form of a servant. He did that even in his actions toward his own disciples. For example, at the end of his ministry, he presided over a wonderful meal for them and at the conclusion of the meal he washed their feet (John 13:14). Jesus, the only begotten human son of God, the son of David, heir to the throne of David, performed the acts of a servant toward his people.

Verse 7c – "being made in the likeness of men."

Jesus was "made." The God who "made" him, made him in the likeness of men. In fact, he was made like us "in every respect" (Hebrews 2:17 - NRSV)." God could have had a son that was anything he wanted him to be. Yet, by God's choice, Jesus was truly a man - a human being - one of us..

Verse 8a – "being found in appearance as a man"

Jesus was found and indeed found himself in the mode or circumstance  of being a man ("appearance" - schema).  From his youth, he had a wonderful God awareness. By at least the age of 12, he was keenly aware that God was his Father (Luke 2:49). Yet, while he grew up realizing that God was literally his Father, Jesus knew that he himself was truly a human being. God created him as a true man so that he could become the savior of the rest of us (Romans 5:15).   

God made Adam "from scratch." Yet, by the choice of God, what resulted was a human being – the first human being. Jesus, on the other hand, was made by a miracle of God with the benefit of a human mother. Yet, as was the case with Adam, what God choose to make Jesus was also a true human being. Paul tells us that the man created in Genesis was the "first man Adam," and that Jesus is the "last Adam" (1 Corinthians 15:45). Jesus was the second man to be created by God in such unique fashion.

Verse 8b – "He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."

Jesus humbled himself to do the will of God even to the point of dying (Mark 10:45). And not dying just any death, but a terrible death on a cross. He was willing to die because he understood that by his death, the sins of many would be forgiven (Matthew 26:28). Jesus knew that as God's only begotten human son he was uniquely loved by God (Matthew 17:5). He knew that he was of great value in the eyes of his Father. So much so, that God accepted his death as a sacrifice for the rest of us (Ephesians 5:2). For This Reason – God has exalted Jesus.

Verse 9 - "For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name."

Jesus was the only begotten son of God. He was God's "beloved" son (Matthew 12:18). For that reason, he was exalted by God and given great place and station. God made him to be both "Lord" and "Christ" (Acts 2:36). Yet, God also exalted him because of his service: his care and love for his fellow man. The willingness of Jesus to die in order to redeem the rest of us to God was awesome (Revelation 5:9).

For all of these reasons, God determined that Jesus would be heir of all things and that those who are the people of Jesus will be joint heirs with him (Romans 8:17). This is the wonder of God's favor upon the man Christ Jesus. It is a favor that flows over onto those who are his people.   


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And they sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. Revelation 5:9 (NIV)

Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified."
Acts 2:36 (NRSV)

"Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
Matthew 12:18 (NRSV)

and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Eph 5:2 (NRSV)

While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, "This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!"  Matthew 17:5 (NRSV)

for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26:28 (NRSV)

For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many." Mark 10:45 (NRSV)

Thus it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
1 Corinthians 15:45 (NRSV)

But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!
Romans 5:15 (NIV)

"Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?"
Luke 2:49 (NIV)

So it is evident that it was essential that He be made like His brethren in every respect, in order that He might become a merciful (sympathetic) and faithful High Priest in the things related to God, to make atonement and propitiation for the people’s sins.  
Hebrews 2:17 (Amplified)

So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
John 13:14  (NRSV)

they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. Matthew 21:7 (NRSV)

and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."  Matthew 2:2  (NIV)

and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end." Luke 1:33 (NAS95)

"He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. Luke 1:32  (NAS95)

A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Matthew 1:1 (NIV)

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