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but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:7)
Here we have the second step downward, Christ emptying himself.
This passage provides much debate in the area of what is called the Kenosis of Jesus Christ. Different scholars have tried to explain the concept of Christ emptying Himself. Theologians ponder what Jesus emptied Himself of.
Obviously, from our statements in the previous verse, Jesus did not empty himself of his deity. He ceased to be a part of his Father and the Holy Spirit at no time. So, what did he empty Himself of? He emptied himself of the prerogatives and privileges of that he had always shared with the Father and the Holy Spirit and will always share. He lived upon this earth with self-imposed limitations. He stripped Himself of His expressions of deity, not His possession of deity. He restricted the outward manifestations of His deity. He did not have the shekeniah glory about Him, He did not have a halo, and He looked like any other man who walked in Palestine of that day. Remember, Judas needed to identify Him with a kiss – so that the ones who came to arrest Him knew they had the right person. He was a king, disguised as a peasant.
Can we be sure of this concept? Consider how when he had finished His ministry and had gathered his disciples together on his last night before the Crucifixion for prayer, he prayed, “And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.” (John 17:5) Notice carefully that he prays for His glory to be restored – not his deity. Why? Because, he never laid aside his deity, only the prerogatives and privileges of his deity.
Also, the word that is translated “himself” in this passage is a reflexive pronoun in Greek. In this case, it means that He did not empty something from Himself, but that He emptied Himself from something – i.e., the “form of God,” His nature.
By setting aside his prerogatives and privileges of deity, he took upon himself the form of a servant. At this point, we come into the area of the hypostatic union of Jesus Christ. “This is the union of the two natures (Divine and human) in the person of Jesus. Jesus is God in flesh (John 1:1,14; 10:30-33; 20:28; Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 1:8). He is fully God and fully man (Col. 2:9); thus, he has two natures: God and man. He is not half God and half man. He is 100% God and 100% man. He never lost his divinity. He continued to exist as God when he became a man and added human nature to Himself (Phil. 2:5-11). Therefore, there is a “union in one person of a full human nature and a full divine nature.” Right now in heaven, there is a man, Jesus, who is our Mediator between us and God the Father (1 Tim. 2:5).”
The third step downward in Christ’s humiliation is that he came to earth as a servant. He came to earth as a workingman, a little person in the world’s scheme of things. He came to be just like us – He did not come as a king, but a “blue collar” worker. He can understand what we as the “common folk” go through – because he lived it himself.
In Isaiah 11:10, we read, “On that day the root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples. The nations will seek him, and his resting place will be glorious.” Why did Isaiah call him “the root of Jesse” instead of “the root of David?” His lineage could be traced back to David in both accounts given in the Gospels. David was a king – Jesse was a working-class man, a farmer. Jesus was born not as a king but as a peasant.
The word used here for servant, is the same word that Paul uses for himself in verse 1; thus, Christ was identifying Himself with the believer in this earthly life. It is the word doulos or slave.
The fourth downward step was being made in the likeness of a man. We could take offense at this saying, seeing as we are human beings ourselves.
The verb forms of emptying, taking and becoming are in a tense in Greek that expresses simultaneous yet different actions. He was, by nature, entering a new state. The word likeness (Greek, homoioma) means that which is like something, a resemblance. Likeness means similarity, not sameness. Christ was not entirely identical to man (He was a man and God simultaneously). Adam aspired in the Garden to be “like God.” Christ condescended to become like man. His becoming like man allowed him to manifest his becoming a servant or slave.
Thus, emptying his prerogatives and privileges of deity allowed him to take up the form of a slave by appearing as a man – although he was the God-man.
Emptied himself. κενόω: to completely remove or eliminate elements of high status or rank by eliminating all privileges or prerogatives associated with such status or rank—‘to empty oneself, to divest oneself of position.’ ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσεν ‘he emptied himself’ Php 2:7.
SCROLL THROUGH DIFFERENT CATEGORIES BELOW
BIBLE TRANSLATION AND TEXTUAL CRITICISM
BIBLICAL STUDIES / INTERPRETATION
CHRISTIAN APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM
CHURCH HEALTH, GROWTH, AND HISTORY
 See the Bible Difficulty section (1) at the end of this chapter to further discuss this issue.
 Matthew goes by the line of Joseph, and Luke by the line of Mary. Joseph establishes for the Jewish mind the legitimacy of Jesus’ Messiahship, while Luke gives the only earthly lineage – that of His mother Mary. Both trace Him back to David to fulfill the prophecies.
 Jerry Falwell, Edward E. Hindson and Woodrow Michael Kroll, , Liberty Bible Commentary, ed. Jerry Falwell, Edward E. Hindson and Woodrow Michael Kroll (Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson, Inc., Publishers, 1983). Page 2439
 W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1996). Page 372
 Christ is referred to as the second Adam – “Thus it is written, The first man Adam became a living being (an individual personality); the last Adam (Christ) became a life-giving Spirit [restoring the dead to life].” 1 Cor. 15:45 Amp.
 Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 739.