Text: Philippians 2:5-11,
LUKE 4:16-19, Isaiah 61:1-2
Over the years people have tried to study and make research to understand who Jesus is. Some believe he was one of the Prophets or a good man. Others believe he was made as one of the many ways to God. But the Bible clearly defined that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and only Son of God.
If we understand who Jesus is, we have a responsibility to respond to him. we will be left with two options either to begin a relationship with him as our Saviour or to reject him and continue In our sinful ways. All who have encountered with Jesus must make one of these two choices.
This post will give you an in-depth understanding of the person of Jesus and the importance of worshipping him. He is more than a mere man; He is God. And as God, he is worthy of our praise. As our Redeemer, who has provided us with the right way to have a good relationship with God and a great privilege to worship him as his children.
JESUS IS THE CHRIST AND THE PROPHESIED MESSIAH
Jesus traveled through Samaria on his way back home to Nazareth. There he had an encounter with a Samaritan woman (John 4:1-45).
Many recognized him in the land of Samaria as a Messiah, while Jesus received a cold reception at Nazareth. We would have thought that the Jews in Nazareth would have openly accepted Jesus, considering the fact that Jesus came from this town.
PROPHECY ABOUT THE MESSIAH (Luke 4:18-19)
As he did every Sabbath, Jesus went to the synagogue. It was common for various members of the synagogue to read the scriptures publicly in their worship. We don’t know if Jesus normally had a public role in the synagogue service at Nazareth, but on this occasion, he was handed the scroll of Isaiah and asked to read the scripture passage for the day. Jesus may have chosen this particular passage, or it may have been the assigned reading according to a liturgical calendar. He took the scroll and opened it to the book of Isaiah chapter 61, a prophecy about the Messiah.
HOW ISAIAH CHAPTER (61:1,2) DESCRIBED THE MINISTRY OF THE MESSIAH
Isaiah’s prophecy described that the Messiah would be anointed by the Holy Spirit. His ministry would be characterized by preaching salvation to the poor, setting prisoners free, healing the blind and bringing relief to the oppressed.
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The ministry of the Messiah would also include announcing the year of the Lord’s favor; This statement could be attributed to the Jubilee Year. In Leviticus (25:8-55) God made these laws concerning the year of jubilee to keep people from oppressing their neighbors. During that year, slaves were set free, debts were canceled and Lands reverted to their original owners.
It is important to note that Jesus did not read the last part of Isaiah (61:2), which talks about the “day of vengeance” when the Lord pours his judgment on the earth. Probably because the time of judgment is yet to come, the time of the Messiah had come.
THE PROPHECY ABOUT THE MESSIAH FULFILLED (LUKE 4:20,21)
When Jesus finished reading Isaiah chapter 61:1,2.
He rolled up the scroll and sat down. The people looked intently at him, probably expecting him to expound on the passage he read. However, he announced that Isaiah’s prophecy has been fulfilled that day.
Jesus’ statement in verse 21 was a clear message; He was the Messiah. He was the long-awaited Hope of Israel, the one whom they looked for deliverance and salvation.
CHRIST IS LORD AND HIS HUMILITY (PHILIPPIANS 2:5-8)
Paul talks about brethren dwelling in unity. He encouraged some Philippian church members who were having problems in their relationship with their fellow members. Paul appealed that they should emulate Jesus’ incarnation and crucifixion as an example of humility to explain how believers can develop unity in their personal relationships.
Verses 5-11 were originally written to encourage believers to develop unity and humility, they do help in our understanding of the incarnation.
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Before his incarnation, Jesus was God, the second member of the Trinity. There was never a time in which he was not God. But he did not look at his deity as something to be held onto. Instead, he condescended to take the form of a human and die a shameful death of crucifixion.
HOW JESUS TOOK THE FORM OF A HUMAN
There are many ideas about how Jesus left heaven and came to earth as a man. Some say he was never a God before he came to earth. Others believe his life on earth won him the price of being God. However, these two opinions indicate Jesus Supreme Deity.
In Philippians (2:6-8) Paul used three different words to describe Christ’s incarnation. These words are translated “form” and “likeness” according to King James Version.
In verse 6 Paul said that Jesus was “in the form of God.” The word translated “form” talks of one’s nature or essence. Though the outward form may change, the essence or nature remains the same. Prior to his coming to earth in the form of a slave, Christ was already “in the form of God”. When he came to earth, his outward form changed to that of a human, but his inner nature did not. He was still God.
When Paul stated that Christ “thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” he was reaffirming Christ’s deity. Paul was stating that Christ did not “grasp” or seize his equality in a selfish manner. He was willing to empty himself for the salvation of humanity.
In verse 7, Paul wrote Jesus took on the form (essence, nature, the same word found in verse 6) of a servant, but he had the “likeness” (the outward form) of a human. The word “likeness” indicates both the similarity of Christ with humans, yet still indicates his deity.
Though Christ was like humans in bodily form (having the likeness of humanity). He was not like humans in other ways (having the essence of God). He was truly God in the flesh.
In verse 8 Paul said that Jesus also was found in “fashion as a man”. The word translated fashion indicates the outward and changing form rather than unchanging essence or nature, coupled with the statement concerning Christ’s humility.
In verse 9, Paul revealed why Christ came as a human. As a man, Christ humbly submitted himself to death. But a revelation about Christ’s death indicates total humiliation. He died on the cross.
Death on the cross, otherwise called “crucifixion” was a Patten of execution reserved for criminals. It was unimaginable that God would allow himself to die in such a shameful manner.
This is why the pagans thought that the gospel is foolishness and a waste of time. But those who accept the mystery in the message of the cross find salvation through Christ because God has highly exalted Jesus and has given Him a name which is above every name and at the mention of Jesus every knee should bow every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord.
CHRIST’S EXALTATION (PHILIPPIANS 2:9-11)
In verse 9-11 the exaltation of Christ was declared after his humility. Christ’s crucifixion was not the end of his life. God raised him from death. And exalted him to the highest place and gave him the “name which is above every name.”
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE NAME GIVEN TO JESUS
Many think this name is Jesus, especially when we consider the phrase in verse 10; “that at the name Jesus.” This does not mean that at Christ’s exaltation, God named him “Jesus”. It could be that God gave the name a greater significance after his exaltation. More likely though, the “name” Paul was referring to is “Lord.”
In verse 11, Paul wrote that “every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” This is a quotation from (Isaiah 45:23). The Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament in Jesus’ days translated the divine name “Yahweh” as “Lord” in this passage.
This was to keep off from pronouncing the divine name in vain according to Jewish tradition. By quoting this passage, Paul was attributing deity to Christ, as he had done in verses 6-8. When every tongue confesses Jesus as Lord, they are confessing Jesus’ deity.
Jesus exaltation did not involve his becoming God. Jesus has always been God. Rather, he was exalted to his glory by the humble state of being human and being crucified as a criminal. Jesus was God when he came to earth, and he is still God in his glorious exaltation in heaven.
THE MEANING OF PAUL’S STATEMENT “THAT AT THE NAME OF JESUS EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW…..AND THAT EVERY TONGUE SHOULD CONFESS THAT JESUS IS LORD” (Philippians 2:10-11)
Paul’s statement simply means that a day will come when every person who has ever lived on earth will bow before Christ and will confess that Jesus is Lord. This involves everyone, the righteous and the wicked. The righteous are already saved. For them, this will be a time of rejoicing. But for the wicked, it will be a time when they will finally have to acknowledge Christ sovereignty, even though they failed to submit to him while alive on earth.