Last week I shared how the Son had to first be given so that He could become the child born, but how did that transition happen?
How did the Son given become the child born?
What was He thinking?!
Before I get into the mechanics of how the Son transitioned from heaven to conception within Mary, first let’s look at His humble heart, because we wouldn’t even have the babe conceived in Mary if He wasn’t so humble.
Philippians 2: 6-8 says the Son “…existed in the form of God, but He did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped*, but emptied Himself, taking upon Himself the form of a person, being made like a man and finding Himself in the form of man, submitted Himself to death, even the death of the cross.”
The Son did not regard equality with the Father as something to be ‘grasped’. That just doesn’t come close to the Greek Paul used when writing this. The Greek word is ‘harpagmos’, from the root ‘harpazo’ which means ‘to seize and carry off by force.’ It was used in both active voice and passive, meaning it can mean something active – that of a person seizing something and caring it off, or passively as in the case here, meaning someone who holds onto a prize (or doesn’t hold onto it).
We would say it this way: “Christ…counted it not a prize to be held onto that He was on an equality with God.”
This is an amazing revelation about the humble nature of Jesus. When He later said “…learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart”*, He was telling the truth. He IS meek and lowly in heart. Meek means ‘gentle, mild’ and lowly means ‘humbleness, lowliness of mind’. The meek Messiah King is described* as “Look! Your King comes to you meek and riding on a donkey, even a colt, the foal of a donkey.” *Matthew 11:28-30, *Matthew 21:5
The other key phrase is ‘emptied Himself’ – He did not empty Himself of His Godhood nor cease to be what He eternally was – He simply gave up all the rights and privileges of being God’s only Son that He might live as a mere man. In this way, the truth of who He was and is must be spiritually discerned and known in the heart.
This is why…
He isn’t Hollywood Jesus. He isn’t impressed by the fancy trappings nor hierarchy through which He is presented. We can measure how well a person actually knows the person of Jesus by the degree to which they are impressed with ‘things’ and the appearance of ‘things’. The Son given HAD to be humble of heart in order to become as one of His creations, the child born.
It is because of His humility that He is at ease no matter His surroundings, from the most opulent palace to the most humble home, for He is neither impressed nor offended – that is our Lord. The passage in Philippians 2:5 above starts out, “Have this same mind in you that was in Christ Jesus…”
Do we have that same humility? Are we equal parts unimpressed with ‘things’ and presentation as we are not offended when surrounded by the humble and lowly? Do we curl our noses up at someone poorly dressed at a store, or do we see them humbly, through God’s eyes? Do we react to well dressed and beautiful people differently than we do the average looking and humbly attired?
Do we assert ourselves over others in conversation, or just state the facts? If we truly know Him and spend time with Him in our hearts, we will gradually become transformed into His image of humility…so if you see the opposite in someone labeled ‘Christian’, be aware they are still growing. “Have this same mind in you, which was first also in Christ Jesus…”
I’ve often asked people for a show of hands if they’ve ever been in a service or meeting where they felt like Jesus was walking in their midst. Usually several hands are raised. Then I ask if He ever took over the meeting, ever asserted Himself or inserted Himself into what was happening? Never. He is Lord of all, yet is content to walk humbly among His friends.
I was leading a Bible school chapel service, and during the worship I suddenly saw the Lord walking up the steps of the platform, stopping directly in front of me. I immediately knelt before Him and was astounded to hear Him say, “I’d like to minister to my people”, to which I responded, “You’re the Lord, of course, be free to do whatever you want to do.”
I stood up and motioned to the woman leading worship to continue, and then turned to watch the Lord walking among the roughly 200 students as they worshipped, stopping here and there to tell people things. After a few minutes He walked back up the steps of the platform to once again stand in front of me, saying, “Thank you for allowing me to minister to my people. So few do. So many stick to their schedule and agenda rather than allowing me to truly touch my people.” With that He turned, took His customary 2 1/2 steps, and in the middle of that third step He disappeared.
I thought how humble, how amazing, and how humbled was I that day! I learn so much with each visitation, each time around Him.
So now that we understand the humility of the Lord, to how He transitioned
The author of Hebrews is making his point of the inability of the Old Testament sacrifices to permanently do away with sin, saying they had to be made over and over and over again, and a 1 time permanent sacrifice was needed. That 1 time great sacrifice would take away sin, therefore ushering in a new covenant with man.
“For it isn’t possible that the blood of bulls and goats would take away sins. Therefore when He came into the world He said, ‘Sacrifice and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for Me…’” Hebrews 10:4-7
“When He came into the world” isn’t being born, but being conceived. “…a body you have prepared Me” He said. The Father providing through Mary’s egg a human body for the One who emptied Himself of all rights and privileges as God’s Son in heaven.
Philippians 2:8 simply says ‘And being found in fashion as a man’, or, “And being found in appearance as a man’, or “And having become man’.
When Mary innocently asked how it would happen, the angel Gabriel told her in Luke 1:35 ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you (as a cloud), therefore the holy child born of you will be called the Son of God.”
The Son of God emptied Himself of all rights and privilege as God’s only Son, while retaining His Sonship, to be conceived in Mary, and upon leaving heaven stated ‘A body you have prepared me’. By the Holy Spirit who overshadowed a teenage girl, using her egg to provide a body, He was conceived in her womb.
That is humble, meek, lowly. And we’ll pick it up right there next week. Until then, blessings,