Reading for Wednesday, Aug 8: Philippians 2
Philippians 2 contains one of the most beautiful Christological passages in the New Testament. After imploring us to have the same mind as Christ, Paul offers a lyrical description of the character of our Lord. Many scholars believe verses 6-11 were part of an early Christian hymn about Jesus. Look at the theological underpinnings of this text:
– v6, Jesus is of the same nature or essence as God the Father, yet He is also differentiated from Him.
-v6, Jesus does not consider equality with God to be part of His role to play.
-v7, In the Incarnation, Jesus identifies with humanity, humbly assuming the role of a servant.
-v8, Part of this humility is adopting the posture of obedience. The Son of God remains obedient to the will of the Father, even to the point of death on the cross.
-v9, Because of this, God the Father has exalted Him greatly, giving Him the life-giving name, the name above all names.
-v10, Now the name of Jesus reigns supreme. Every knee bows before this great name — knees on earth and in heaven. The cosmic scope here is breathtaking. The entire created order is acknowledging the sovereignty of Jesus.
-v11, And in the end, all lips will make the final confession of Christ’s lordship. This is the glory of God.
Paul’s immediate takeaway is that these believers should continue to “shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life,” (v15-16). We understand that this same God who was at work in Christ Jesus is now at work in us (v13) “both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” This radically transforms my understanding of my own life. Your life and mine can become vehicles for the power of God — if we will follow the example of Jesus.
This begins when we heed Paul’s call from v5: “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.”