The Wonder of Jesus
I've been sharing from Isaiah 9:6 about the Son given and the child born, Christ Jesus; Christ being a reference to His eternal existence and Jesus being a reference to His humanity.
The wonder of Jesus is that He gave up the glory He had with the Father 'before the world was,' and more than gave up, He completely changed His relationship with the Father forever, as we'll see later. (John 17:5)
These last couple of weeks as we've taken apart Philippians 2:5-8 the phrase 'and being found fashioned as a man', stands out.
He humbled Himself first to be conceived, and then in Mary's womb full term, and was born as any other baby - all that came about as a result of emptying Himself in heaven of all He had there. He remained God for He did not give up His Sonship, but all else was laid down. And found Himself fashioned as a man...
Learning About this Body
That meant He had to learn like any other baby, any other toddler, any other school boy, any other son. For the first time in eternity He existed within the confines of human flesh.
No more zipping in and out of this earthly realm untouched by physical limitations - if He got too close to Mary's cooking fire He got burned - not like standing in a fiery furnace to protect Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego - he gave that power up to become human. Though still God in the flesh, but self-limited.
For the first time in eternity He experienced the human body personally. He learned hunger, thirst, the need for sleep, what it is like to learn new things! That included walking, talking, learning to read, bathroom control, even the need for a bath!
There is so very much wrapped in the simple words 'and being found fashioned as a man, He humbled Himself...' (Philippians 2:8)
The Creator Had Become One of His Creations!
"Though He was a Son, He learned obedience by the things He suffered. And being made complete, He became the Author of eternal salvation to those who obey Him." (Hebrews 5:8-9)
"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels (human) so that He might suffer death, now crowned with glory and honor...for it became Him, for whom and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Author of their salvation complete through (human) sufferings." (Hebrews 2:9-10)
"Therefore in all things it was proper to be made like His brethren, so that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God...for in that He Himself was also tempted and suffered in human flesh, He is able to help those who are also tempted." (Hebrews 2:17-18)
Meek and Lowly in Heart
When Jesus made the statement 'learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart' in Matthew 11:29, it wasn't like He suddenly became meek and lowly at that statement. He has always been meek and lowly in heart even in heaven when He shared glory with the Father.
It was that very meekness and lowliness in heart that caused Him to empty Himself to become one of us in the first place! Pride doesn't think like that. Christ 'thought it not robbery to be equal with God...so emptied Himself and became man...' That's just how humble He is.
From Isaiah 9:6 to John 3:16, Christ is called God's only Son. He was and is the Son of God. But Acts 13:33-34 tells us the nature of the Father/Son relationship forever changed at Jesus' resurrection.
"...in that He raised up Jesus as it is written in Psalm 2: 'You are my Son, today I have become your father.'"
If He was God's only Son from eternity, why then does the Father say of resurrection day, 'Today I have become your Father'?
The reason is that once Christ left heaven and took upon Himself human flesh, He forever has that human flesh. He was raised physically from the dead in a human body. Romans 6:4 said the glory of the Father raised Him up and made His body alive again - and this time made of heavenly material, what we call a 'glorified body' - but human flesh nonetheless.
Now ascended to heaven, He has limited Himself to be confined to the Spirit realm until His return to set up His earthly kingdom. When people have seen Him since His ascension, it is by the Holy Spirit.
When He appeared to Paul several times, and to Ananias to go find Saul of Tarsus, and to John in The Revelation, and to me or you today - it is by the Holy Spirit. (Acts 9:10,17; 18:9; 22:17-18; Revelation 1:10)
It is called a vision or being 'in the Spirit', but it is an operation of the Holy Spirit, technically under the category of the discerning of spirits, which includes all visions and spiritual dreams.
He isn't like some holographic image projecting Himself to hundreds of people at any given time all over the earth - no - when people in Acts or today saw or see Jesus, it is Jesus Himself. Their eyes are opened to the Spirit realm as stated above, but it is really Him, not a representation nor reasonable facsimile.
My Point Is...
...He is no longer God's ONLY Son. The Father now has a Son with a glorified human body for the first time in eternity. "THIS DAY I have become your Father." From resurrection day forward, Jesus is called the 'first born from the dead' or 'first born among many brethren.'
"...that He might be the first born among many brethren." Romans 8:29
"...He is the head of the body, the church...(He is) the first born from the dead..." Colossians 1:18
"But you have come...to the general assembly and church of the first born..." Hebrews 12:23
"And from Jesus Christ who is the faithful witness, and the first born from the dead..." Revelation 1:5
He is the first born from the dead. Everything in the New Testament looks forward to the sure and certain resurrection of the righteous dead - I don't know my number or yours, but we are counted in that number!
The wonder of Jesus, who is so meek and lowly that He would not think His equality with God something to be zealously and selfishly held onto, but left it all so that His humble creation might have a home with Him in that glory called heaven, is awe inspiring beyond words. Amazing grace!
My thoughts this week, I'll close this series next week...blessings,