>Have this Kind of Thinking Among You – Part 3

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7 but emptied Himself

I was reminded by a blogger I admire that we are (I am) far from being good. We are empty vessels apart from the Gospel. Vile things ever seeking for something we like to make our cup runneth over. This clause in Philippians 2 is perhaps the first of the pericope which leaves a person with a delimma. He either has to decide he is good enough to empty himself like Jesus or resolve that he is NEVER good enough and therefore deem it necessary to depend on God.

Jesus is the quintessential example of being emptied because he can remove any focus on His character and yet his actions are so holy His still points back to himself.

And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. – Mark 10:17-18

Who is good but God? Jesus is good. But his character is was not the relevant point for that moment. He is trying to get the journeyman to understand no one is good. A full person, that is a person who is self-centered couldn’t respond like Jesus. His response would have been “Do you know who you are speaking to?”

An emptied Jesus demonstrates that at that particular moment His identity is not the issue at hand…even though it is. He is willing to condescend in order to draw all the attention to His father. What does it look like when God who created all and for who and by whom all things were made willingly decides to empty himself? It looks like grace. It makes truth like ‘I am with you always’ become something greatly appreciated like never before. For God has shown himself faithful to a people who have no desire to see Him properly.

The appreciation of the magnitude of Jesus emptying himself is only understood when the observer is emptied. And we need God to do that.

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