My apologies for not posting the past few days. Life and work did not lend me the time to do so.
On with the last part of the segment:
6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
I find this statement interesting. One of God’s top ten, is to not idolize. Well, creating God in the image we wish falls into that category. So, how can we be equal with God, as Jesus was equal with God. Quandry, until you realize (in my humble thought process) that we are to strive to be as Jesus and God want us to be, which is like them. Can we ever be perfect as they are? No. But we are to still be right with them.
But the really interesting part comes next…
7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
“Made himself of no reputation” Wow, how against our society does this go? Everything is about your reputation. The definition of reputation (From dictionary.com):
[rep-yuh-tey-shuh n] Show IPA
1. the estimation in which
a person or thing is held, especially by the community
or the public generally; repute
: a man of good reputation.
2. favorable repute
; good name
: to ruin one’s reputation by misconduct.
3. a favorable and publicly recognized name or standing for merit, achievement, reliability, etc.: to build up a reputation.
4. the estimation or name of being, having, having done, etc.,something specified: He has the reputation of being a shrewd businessman.
You can’t tell me that we common folk don’t buy into the thought that you have to have this fantastic reputation. I often joke with people at work when they thank me for doing something nice (going on the record here that its more common that I do than implied here. 😉 ), to not let it get out, don’t want to spoil the rep. So, how do we approach this when Jesus ‘made himself of no reputation.’
Ok, let’s start with, Jesus wasn’t concern with his reputation among others. He had no use for it. He knew that when you have no use for a reputation, and you humble yourself and become a servant (more of that in the next portion of the verse), your reputation is there, either way. You can go to any religion in the work, with the possible exception of Atheism, and they will all agree that Jesus existed and that he was ‘a great rabbi,’ ‘a prophet,’ ‘a wonderful teacher,’ etc. Very few will deny he existed, there is too much proof in the different books of beliefs to deny that, and even fewer will insist that he was a horrible person. Now, think on this… 1 man, over 2000 years ago, still has this reputation of being pretty awesome, but by multiple religions and beliefs, whether they believe he was the Messiah (the Christ) or not. Pretty amazing for a man who ‘made himself of no reputation.’
So, the second portion states “and took upon him the form of a servant.” Guess how he made his reputation, by not making himself a reputation. He became a servant. By serving others, by helping others, by sticking to God’s ultimate command to love our God with all our heart, all our soul and all our mind, he became known for this. Now, before someone gets upset about the Love our God, it’s in the bible at least 3 times (from a quick search), twice in the new testament; Matthew 22:37-40 and Luke 10:27, and in the Old testament (the area that our Jewish family would know as the Torah, in Deuteronomy (not sure of the Torah’s name for this book) 6:5. So, this is not a new thing.
By loving our God with all our heart, soul, and mind, we come closer to God’s love of agape. Definition of Agape, from dictionary.com:
2[ah-gah-pey, ah-guh-pey, ag-uh-] Show IPA
noun, plural -pae [-pahy, -pahy, -pee] Show IPA
, -pai [-pahy, -pahy] Show IPA
1. the love
of God or Christ for humankind.
2. the love of Christians for other persons, corresponding to the love of God for humankind.
3. unselfish love of one person for another without sexual implications; brotherly love.
This is what Jesus achieved (ok, one of the many things he achieved) and what God wants us to strive for.
So, how did God get there through Jesus? Third part of the verse: and was made in the likeness of man. God made himself into the likeness of man, meaning, humans, specifically in this case a male human, to go through all the trials and tribulations that we do. He went through the temptations and witnessed the hardships and experienced all that we experience. Yet, he still remained perfect, without blemish. He did not cave into temptation. He conquered it. He did not fall into hardship, he lifted people out of it. And how did he do all this? Through the commandment to love God with all his heart, soul, and mind, as a man.
8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
So, being a man, a human, and not God (though we know he was God in the flesh), he chose to not rely on his godly powers and influence. He did not bring down legions of angels when Satan tempted him in the wilderness. Yes, he performed miracles. But he had to, to prove who he was. Instead, Jesus humbled himself. Here is the King of Kings, and he humbled himself to all others. He knew that the plan was for him to be crucified and to take the sin of the world. So, he humbled himself, to do the job, and was so obedient, that he took on death.
In John 15:13, it states: Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. What a friend he is for giving his life so that we may live.
It is times like this that I get overwhelmed by the love God has for us, for me. Most of us would lay our life down for our children. God’s son did it for EVERYONE, not just you, not just me, but everyone. There is not one that he didn’t die for.
So, why should we worry about our reputation? Why not humble ourselves, and be a servant? We don’t need to be exalted, we need to love our brothers and sisters, and serve them. We must make this effort. Without it, we only hurt ourselves.