The Form of a Servant

Hello everyone. Welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are continuing our Trinitarian Bible Study. Right now, we’re in the book of Philippians and in the second chapter looking at the great hymn. I think JB for his comment based on last night’s post. I hadn’t heard that and I find it extremely interesting. Keep in mind based on that that this blog is not to be an end-all to study. I encourage anyone to look further and see what more can be said.

Having said that, we’re going to be looking at verse 7 tonight:

but made himself nothing,
taking the very natureĀ of a servant,
being made in human likeness.

This in fact fits in with the comment that our good friend JB made. Jesus definitely had the position of a great emperor and still does. However, he was willing to come and lower himself. We see this all throughout the epistles. We heard it in 2 Cor. 8-9 when Christ was presented as our example of one who was rich but for our sakes became poor.

The passage tells us that Christ made himself nothing which is the highest example of self-sacrifice. Christ took upon himself that which he did not have to have to save those who he did not need and undergo a pain that he need not have to have undergone as the most innocent one of all. However, he saw fit to come and give himself for his people. Rather than the people dying for the cause of the emperor, Christ was the first to die for his people. Many have died for him since, but only by following his example.

We also find that he took the very nature of a servant. The word is the same word that’s used in verse 6. In other words, if Jesus really wasn’t God in nature, then he really wasn’t a servant in nature either. We see at the start however that he is fully God and now we see that he is fully a servant. He is the God-man. He is 100% God and 100% man.

We cannot lose sight of this great contrast in the passage. Paul is talking about Jesus dwelling in Heaven as God and then saying that he came to Earth and lived as a servant. He didn’t come down as an emperor or ruler or some glorified figure. Instead, he came down as a servant. He came from the highest of all to dwell in the lowest of all.

Human likeness. Does that mean that he was not a human? No. He was fully human. It means that by his appearance, everyone would have assumed that he was just a man. The truth is however that he was more than a man. He was the God-man again.

What do we learn from this? We ought to learn humility as well. We should be willing to give up what we have to bring about the good of others. If we are not, then we are not living as Christ did. The great emphasis to do so is that we are merely walking in the footsteps of Christ.

We shall continue tomorrow.

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