Daily Devotion – April 4, 2022 – Dr. Pat Taylor Ellison
2:5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
2:6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited,
2:7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form,
2:8 he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death– even death on a cross.
2:9 Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name,
2:10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
2:11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
This familiar passage of Paul’s letter to the Christians in Philippi in northern Greece is often called The Christ Hymn. It seems to have been a creed that was either spoken or sung by the early church.
- It makes a statement about the nature of Jesus (in the form of God but in human likeness because he was born a human)
- It makes a statement about the character of Jesus (he emptied himself of God power in order to be a slave to humanity and was obedient to the needs of humans even to the point of death)
- It makes a statement about how Jesus is regarded by God (God exalts Jesus from death to life and gives him the name “Lord,” which, until that time, was used for God the Creator. When Jesus becomes Lord, God the Creator takes the name God the Father)
Jesus gives up his God-powers to become a slave to human beings and serve them, giving them what they most need. He brings them lessons on how to be children of God, mostly. How to love the Lord your God with your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself. How to enter the Kingdom of God as a little child. How to pray. How to be in relationship with God and one another. Jesus’s slavehood to human beings is recorded in his teachings, in his life with his disciples, and in his death and resurrection. That is why this passage appears during Holy Week.
How am I imitating this character of Jesus in my own life? How are you? Let’s ponder that awhile.
Gracious God, Thank you for loving us. Thank you for having Paul preserve this first century creed of the Christian church. Help us to read it, recite it, and try to live out the character of Jesus in our own lives, humbling our own desires in order to serve one another and you. Amen.