(Part of the Hebrews 1:8-10 Bible study, which is part of Effective Bible Study web page group.)
"For let this mind be in you
which was also in Christ Jesus,
who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God,
but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.
And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross."
Philippians 2:5-8 gives some very important Scriptural testimony about Jesus Christ and His nature. What this verse selection of the Holy Bible reveals about Jesus, the Messiah, must be considered along with the entire context of Holy Scripture when ascertaining the true nature of the Christ. No verse, or groups of verses, of Scripture can be viewed, or interpreted on a stand-alone basis, isolated from the entire context of the Bible. This study of Philippians 2:5-8, is part of the Effective Bible Study series dealing with the Biblical explanation of Hebrews 1:8-10. It provides an explanation of Hebrews 1:9.
Verse 5 establishes that the subsequent verses are about Jesus, the Christ (Messiah); and tells us to follow His example. Verses 6-8, show us Jesus' example
"who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, "
shows us the nature of Jesus. In the first part of the verse, "who, being in the form of God,", the word 'form' is translated from the Greek word 'morphe', which means 'form, or nature.' The words 'the' and 'of', which bracket 'form' are not contained in the original manuscripts. These two words were added by the translators of the manuscript. Without man's interference, the reading of this part of the verse is, "who being in nature God". This rendering is more in line with Scriptural context and teaching; and does not allow for any misunderstanding of Jesus' nature. The remainder of the verse merely states, that since His nature is God, He is equal with God.
Verses 7 & 8, list the examples we are to follow,
"but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.
And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
We see that Jesus in nature God and equal with God, abased Himself by becoming an obedient, humble, servant. And that He took on the external nature of man. It was the Son of God, Jesus, of His own free choice, who (although equal to) willingly became subservient to the Father. This in no way affected the nature of either the Father or the Son. This is why in Hebrews 1:9, the statement can be made, "Therefore God, your God-". The meaning is not that Jesus is a lesser God, for we know,
"You are My witnesses, says Jehovah, and My servant whom I have chosen; that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me no God was formed, nor shall there be after Me."
The meaning is clearly that the Son, Jesus Christ, has chosen to allow the Father to have authority over Him.
page updated 03/08/2011.