Philippians 2:5-11 is one of the most beautiful passage of Christ found in the New Testament, but it is also one of the most debated. Paul’s ultimate purpose in presenting this hymn is not to provide a clear, systematized theology of Christ, but to encourage to church at Philippi by providing an example of true service and humility. However this passage does provide a wealth of information about who Jesus is.
Within these few verses several key doctrines about Christ are contained. The first is that Jesus was God. He was in “very nature God” or “in the form of God” (2:6). However although Jesus was 100%, all the way God, he was 100%, all the way man. Paul writes that Jesus “took on the very nature of a servant” that he humbled and was “made in human likeness.” When Jesus took on the form of a man, he did not become any less divine. He did not drain the divinity out of himself, he simply took on the appearance of a man. This idea may certainly seem hard to understand, and that’s because it is! But some things about God are a mystery to us and we can’t understand them fully. God’s purposes are unique and mysterious. Paul admits this in Ephesians 1:9 that God’s will is a “mystery”.
In all honesty, this is good news. Who would want to follow a God in which you could completely figure out and understand? That God certainly would not be a very big God, if my feeble, fragile, and incompetent mind could figure him out. Our God is a God who’s purposes and ways are not our own. Although we can’t fully understand what He has already done through redemptive history, or what He continues to do in our individual lives, we must always come to the conclusion that he is working all things together for his glory. Even though His ways don’t always make sense, or are even sometimes painful to us, we must rest in the sovereignty of God, and rejoice in the glory he revealed through the mystery of his beautiful son Jesus Christ.