Jesus Emptied Himself

Jesus Emptied Himself

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:5-11

The Apostle Paul says that Jesus has emptied himself, even though He was in the very form of God. Some claim that Jesus was simply a good man or maybe even more reverently, a prophet of God. Yet the Bible affirms an even greater identification for Jesus: the son of God, equal with Him in all respects. Nevertheless, Jesus has emptied himself of such a status, taking on the form of a servant and coming to this world. This does not mean that Jesus ceases to be God when he took on the form of God, rather that His primary disposition was one of servanthood rather than Lordship.

This means that in a very real way, Jesus identified with all of us. As a baby, Jesus cried for milk, was in need of comfort and affection, and was genuinely helpless outside of his parents. As an adult, Jesus experienced hunger, pain, sorrow, joy, laughter, and loss. Everything that we experience in the normal course of life, Jesus experienced as well. He has identified with us in our weakness but He has also exceeded us in every respect. For where we have failed, He has succeeded; where we have sinned, he has been obedient; where we have hated, he has loved.

Personal Reflection

  • Does it bring comfort knowing that Jesus has identified with the normalcy of your life?
  • Why is it important to hold in tension the reality that Jesus was both God and man?

Familial Reflection

  • Share some of the emotions and feelings you have experienced this week. Do you believe that Jesus shared similar emotions when He was on earth?
  • Have you ever thought about Jesus living a normal, human life? How does that bring you comfort? Discomfort?
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