God Came to Serve (2 of 3) by Jonathan McLeod

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God Came to Serve (2 of 3)
Series: Unwrapping Christmas
Jonathan McLeod
Philippians 2:1-11

Who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men (Phil. 2:6-7).

SCRIPTURE READING

In John 1, the apostle John makes a surprising claim: The Word (i.e., Jesus) who ‘‘was God’’ (v. 1) ‘‘became flesh’’ (v. 14). In other words, the baby lying in a manger was God in human flesh. ‘‘The fact that Christ is identical in essence with the Father means the Father’s sending of the Son is nothing less, different, or other than the self-giving of God.’’

[Read Philippians 2:1-11.]

A CHRISTMAS SURPRISE

Christmas is a great time for surprises. [Talk about a Christmas surprise.]

In the Gospel of Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus, there are two surprising details. First, Mary ‘‘laid [Jesus] in a manger’’ (Luke 2:7). A manger is a feeding trough. Second, there was ‘‘no place for [Joseph, Mary, and Jesus] in the inn ‘‘ (Luke 2:7).

It’s interesting that both Luke and Matthew mention a king in their accounts of the birth of Jesus (King Herod, Matt. 2:1; Caesar Augustus, Luke 2:1). Herod and Caesar Augustus were nothing compared to Jesus, the King of kings, but Jesus wasn’t welcomed into the world as we would expect him to be.

The apostle Paul tells us something even more surprising about the birth of Jesus: Jesus, ‘‘though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men (Phil. 2:6-7).

When God came to earth, he came to SERVE.

Nobody expected this! Jesus himself declared that he ‘‘came not to be served, but to serve’’ (Mark 10:45).

EQUAL WITH GOD

Paul writes that Jesus was fully God and fully man. He ‘‘was in the form of God’’ (v. 6). The Greek word that has been translated ‘‘form’’ is morphe, whic ...


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