Summary: Philippians 2:5-11 teaches that, although Jesus existed in the form of God, He humbled Himself to obey His Father and die on the cross. Because of this, God the Father has exalted Jesus above every name and reign. All are obliged to give homage to Him!
The Exalted Christ
Intro: The level of glory and majesty Jesus experienced on earth as a man was not what it had been before His incarnation, nor what it would be after His resurrection. John 17:5 gives us a glimpse of the difference before, during and after His earthly life -- "And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was" Like a dip on a roller-coaster starting at dizzying height, falling to unimaginable depth before ascending to a height beyond human comprehension… This picture is painted for us a number of times in Scripture, perhaps most notably Philippians 2:5-11
I) Jesus in the form of God (2:5-6)
A) The Form of God. The Greek words used to express this here and elsewhere are an interesting study
1) In the form of God…In Philippians 2:6 it is from the Greek "morphe" -- shape or form. (morphology, metamorphosis, etc).
2) The image of God…In Colossians 1:15 it is from the Greek "icon" -- representation, statue
3) The express image of His person…In Hebrews 1:3 it is from the Greek "character" -- engraving, a stamped image
4) Additionally, Hebrews 1:3 also states that Jesus IS the brightness or radiance of God's glory.
B) Creator of the worlds -- over and above everyone and everything.
1) Colossians 1:15-17 -- every power owes its existence to Christ-- He is the firstborn over them.
3) ILLUS: Little Jerry was telling his mother how God made the whole world. . . and all with his left hand! "Why do you think God used only His left hand?" her mother asked. "He had to, Mom," she replied. "Our teacher said Jesus sat down on His right hand."
II) He humbled Himself (2:7-8)
A) He lived a humble life.
1) As one preacher noted, despite artistic representations to the contrary, Jesus was not born with a halo. Jesus did not live His earthly life bearing a glow of the next world. His countrymen asked “Is this not the Son of Mary?” When Judas betrayed Jesus, he did so with a kiss. He didn’t tell the officers, “Just arrest the glowing guy.”
a) The only glimpse of Christ’s glory seen on earth was on the Mount of Transfiguration, which was so astounding, Peter wanted to build tabernacles on the spot.
b) Isaiah 53:2 said, “He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.”
2) Born of a woman and laid as a babe in a manger, Luke 2:7
3) Raised in a despised village in a despised province of a small despised nation.
(a) John 1:46 "And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see".
(b) John 7:52 "They answered and said to him, “Are you also from Galilee? Search and look, for no prophet has arisen out of Galilee.”
(c) Psalm 44:14 "You make us a byword among the nations, A shaking of the head among the peoples. 15 My dishonor is continually before me, And the shame of my face has covered me,"
B) He was humbly obedient even to the point of death.
2) Dying a shameful death, but being raised to a position of indescribable majesty, Hebrews 12:2 "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
III) God highly exalted Him (2:9). (the compound Greek word ὑπερυψόω could literally be translated “hyper elevated”.)
A) A Name above every name.
1) It Is A Name Picked By The Father - The name Jesus was not given to our Lord by Mary and Joseph. It was a name handpicked by God. (Matt. 1:21).
2) It Is A Name that expresses God’s intention to save man (Luke 19:10)
(a) The name Jesus means Savor. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon gives it the literally meaning of "Jehovah Is Salvation."
(b) Acts 4:12 “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
3) Jesus the God-man reaches up to heaven and back down to human history, dwells as God in eternity but lived as a man in time and space; He connects with the Father but relates to man. He is our Trailblazer to heaven, coming from God’s presence to rescue us and bring us into God’s presence.
B) He is exalted with a reign above every name! Revelation 19:16 “And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”