Philippians 2:5-11

New Living Translation (NLT)

5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

6 Though he was God,[a]
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges[b];
he took the humble position of a slave[c]
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,[d]
8     he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Maggi Dawn notes that much brain energy/paper, etc. has been expended thinking about how God could become man and still remain God…

We are called to emulate Jesus in emptying self.. but in emptying self we must take care not to take a journey into slavery, rather than sainthood, remembering Mark 12:31…. for some, maybe a New Year’s Resolution for 2014?


We then look at Jesus cleaning the feet of others – if a servant he would largely have disappeared into the background, but this was as if the Prime Minister had taken over a menial task.

For us, then, our service of others and of God is not a means of validating others or gaining an identity. It’s the other way round.

6 Responses

  1. I love the idea – and indeed preached on it yesterday – that when you hold together what Paul says in Philippians 2 with the opening verses of John 1, the only thing left when Jesus empties himself to become the Word made flesh is grace and truth … and He is full of it – so full that it keeps bursting out in healing, justice, righteousness and love.

  2. Absolutely. I think the point is that, if truth and grace … and love … can’t be emptied out of Christ, our ministry of service to others must always be carried out in truth and grace and love. We can’t serve if there’s any hint of being condescending.

  3. Starts to sound a bit like a ‘gap yah’ then doesn’t it – although I think there’s value in a gap year, part of that training also should be that we are privileged to be able to do that kind of stuff… Re our Ministry – have to keep praying to be refilled …

  4. Not sure it needs a gap year although it’s not a bad recipe for one. I think mine is a theological point that if the “Word made flesh” was emptied of everything but love, grace and truth then they must be the irreducible minimum for all Christian conversation and engagement. Evangelism must take place within a climate of love, grace and truth. So must “works of mercy”, so must all of the Church’s ministries, so must all of our debates: online and in print.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.