Rethinking Phil. 2:8-10

Philippians 2:8-10 NASB “Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth”

Jesus demonstrated humility (same word in Greek as was used in 2:3) by becoming obedient to his vocation. This obedience was exercised unto the point of a martyr’s death, the death of the cross.

His obedient refusal to exploit his privileges and to live for God unto death will be a theme repeated in the epistle:

                        a. Epaphroditus (2:29-30)

                        b. of Paul himself (2:17; 3:7-12)

                        c. the Philippian believers (3:15-17, 20-21)

In response to Jesus’ obedience and taking the form of the servant, God has highly exalted him. This was initially demonstrated through resurrection. The reward of resurrection for faithfully giving up one’s privileges is also repeated:

                        a. Paul (3:11)

                        b. the Philippian believers (3:21)

Jesus was given, in his exaltation, the name above all other names. This name brings into submission every knee. The description resembles the totality of the dominion originally given to Adam: “rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen. 1:28). The rulership originally promised to Adam (but lost due to disobedience) has been reclaimed by Christ (due to obedience). 

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