What does it mean that Jesus emptied Himself and became a man?
This is the first of about 50 blog posts that will explore the subject above. Let’s start with Philippians 2:5-11 from the NASB95 —
Phil 2:5-11 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, (6) who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, (7) but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. (8) Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (9) For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, (10) so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, (11) and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
All Christians are familiar with the concept that Jesus is true God and true man (whether or not they accept the concept). But what does it mean in terms of how the universe is put together and what our verses for the day mean? The main point of our passage might seem to be that Jesus was humble and we should be, too. But I want to suggest (and will expound on at length in these blog posts) that the entire essence of salvation hangs on this concept of Jesus emptying Himself.
What does being empty in this context mean? It has to relate to the difference between God and Mankind. The most important difference I see between man and God is that God is infinite while man is finite. Being infinite implies being able to know everything (or at least everything suitable for God to know.) A man, however, can only learn/know a relatively tiny amount, no matter how long he or she lives. Below the difference between being finite and infinite is the difference between being perfect and imperfect. I submit that while we can imagine an infinite being being imperfect or a finite being being perfect, neither of these conditions are likely or stable.
And here we come to the advantage of having a blog rather than just writing for oneself. I would like to have some feedback from what I’ve written so far. Give me your own opinion on the subject. Try to keep the remarks on the specific topic for this post, since there will be plenty of coming posts to discuss other things on. Since we must approve comments before they appear, keep them short and thoughtful. Make sure to re-read your comment before you submit it.