The Third Step Down
Philippians 2:7: And was made in the likeness of men.
In the Greek it reads: "In the likeness of men having become." He became what He had not been before; a Man like other men. In so becoming He was really and truly man. In becoming Man He did not cease to be God; nor did He become God and Man. But when "the Word was made flesh," there entered into the world a totally unique being, the God-Man. He was one Person with two natures: the inherent nature of Deity and the assumed nature of humanity: absolute Deity in union with real humanity. The Son of God became the Son of Man (Hebrews 2:14, 17, 18).
Jesus lived His life and did His work, wholly dependent upon God, the Holy Spirit. He was baptized by the Spirit (John 1:32, 33), full of the Holy Spirit and led by the Spirit (Luke 4:1), empowered by the Spirit (Luke 4:14). The source of His power in His work on earth is plainly attributed to the Spirit's anointing (Acts 10:38).
As a bondslave He gave up all right to His own will, even to the uttermost length of obedience. As a Man like other men He gave up all right to His own way and went to the uttermost length of dependence.
The Fourth Step Down
Philippians 2:8: being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death.
"Being found in fashion as a man". Jesus' outward appearance manifested in His manner of living was that of a real man. He was subjected to the limitations of time and space and to those necessities of the human body which are not the result of sin, such as that of food,sleep, and rest. In His human body there was no trace or trait or tendency to sin, yet it needed the attention and care that any human body needs. In outward seeming He was found on earth in a real humanity. Kenneth Wuest in his book "Philippians in the New Testament", gives such a clear unfolding of this verse in the following: "He was really a Man, but He was not a real man in the sense that He was like others of the human race, only a man. He was always in His incarnation more than man. There was always that single personality with a dual nature. His deity did not make Him more or less than a Man, and His humanity did not make Him less than absolute Deity."
"He Humbled Himself"
In becoming the Christ Man He emptied himself, but there is a still further going down by His own choice into a deeper depth of self-renunciation. After becoming Man "he humbled himself." How? "Becoming obedient." Was He not always in all things, at all times, in all circumstances obedient? Had He not chosen from boyhood right through manhood to live moment by moment a life of joyous obedience? Had He not proved the possibility of a life lived habitually on the principle of absolute obedience to God, as originally planned, but discarded by the first man's disobedience? Then "becoming obedient must involve some new obedience, a further act of submission, a much longer stoop down; the very greatest bend in the infinite stoop.
"Obedient unto Death." He even stooped to die! Oh! what a stoop! The Author; the Prince; the Creator of all life; yes, even He who was life itself died. It is hard indeed to grasp the full meaning and significance of this fat, Life itself dying. But the very heart of the gospel lies hidden in this fact that "the Prince of Life" (Acts 3:15) went all the way of obedience, even up to the very point of death in His self-humbling.
This obedience could only be to His Father. satan in every temptation had tried to get Jesus to do something outside the will of God, something that had not the will and the glory of the Father as its sole motive. But even in the severest temptation he had never been able to break or even shake Jesus' obedience to His Father.
(continued with # 70)