“Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.” (Philippians 2:5 – 7a)
Yesterday’s scripture passage from Isaiah set up a longing in me that I thought I might talk about. But whatever (or Whomever) inspires me took me a different direction. But today, reading about Jesus humbling himself to become a human in outward form (my personal theology snuck through there) I am reminded that I wanted “to have the tongue of a teacher . . . to sustain the weary with a word.” Maybe that desire did come across – I don’t know.
While I would like to claim that for myself, I also heed the writer of Philippians admonition to be humble. It is interesting to think about humanity trying to “out humble” Christ. Just like we cannot be the perfection that is Jesus Christ, we cannot take on the complete humbleness of Christ. But, this line of thought could get us in deeper philosophical and theological waters than I want to be. So let us move on to the next section of the scripture passage.
“And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross.” (Verses 7b – 8)
That is why we cannot “out humble” Christ; all that is the Godself – omnipotent, omnipresent, omni-everything – set that aside and accepted death that some might see as a failure in a deity. But those some would be mistaken.
“Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,” (Verses 9 – 10)
Here too are deep spiritual waters; confusing though, if the believe that God and Jesus Christ are one and the same. How can God exalt Jesus who is the God-self? I wish I could explain it sufficiently to beloved reader. But I am still trying to explain it to myself, and I am befuddled. There are others who have a differing understanding then mine, and perhaps their explanation would encompass what I seem to see as a paradox.
“and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Verse 11)
But the nice thing is that I do not have to completely understand it; I can just accept that it is what it is. And believe that the logic and rationale is not mine to know yet. So maybe my “tongue” is not the teacher I would hope it could be. And I cannot sustain all the weary and all that makes humanity weary with my words. And I cannot match the humility of Christ.
But what I can do, and what you can do too beloved reader, is continue striving to be of the same mind as Christ; that is, emulate Christ as much as is humanly possible. Set aside our doubts and simply believe. And “confess” that Jesus Christ is Lord being glory to God! Selah!