Monday, January 7, 2013

“Jesus' Humility and Exaltation” Adult Sunday School Lesson

International Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday January 13, 2013

Purpose: To exalt Jesus as Lord and Christ in all that we say and do

Scripture Text: Philippians 2: 5-11

Philippians 2:5-11 (CEB)
(5)Adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus: (6)Though he was in the form of God, he did not consider being equal with God something to exploit. (7)But he emptied himself by taking the form of a slave and by becoming like human beings. When he found himself in the form of a human, (8) he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (9)Therefore, God highly honored him and gave him a name above all names, (10)so that at the name of Jesus everyone in heaven, on earth, and under the earth might bow (11)and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

My Thoughts by Burgess Walter

Our lessons continue in the Book of Philippians, I must say that I like the way verse 5 is translated in the NKJV better than the CEB (Common English Bible) The New King James translates it as “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.

I realize that makes me sound old, but for me it flows better, although I think the meaning may be better understood by today's students. In today's world “attitude” is recognized as an important part of our makeup. Ever since Patti LaBelle introduced it in “Beverly Hill Cops” in 1985, many of us have been looking for a “new attitude”. Paul suggest ways we can find that new attitude.

If we go back to verses 1-4 of this chapter we can see that Paul list 4 ways we can improve our attitude with a series of “ifs” and “then.” Read what Paul wrote:
  1. “Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort in love, any sharing in the Spirit, any sympathy, 
  2. complete my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, being united, and agreeing with each other. 
  3. Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves. 
  4. Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others”

So Paul sees the change of attitude to be in the areas of “love” “unity” “unselfishness” and “humility.”

Starting in verse 7 Paul turns to the positive of what Christ did for all creation, things on the earth, above the earth, and under the earth. First He “emptied himself.” The Greek word is “kenosis” meaning “self-emptying.” That means he emptied himself of the position as a part of God, or equal to God. He was willing to take on the lowest form of human existence, that of a slave. He could claim nothing but what His master, God, gave him. When Christ humbled himself, the Greek root word is “humus” which means “soil” or “earth.” Today we might say he was a real “down to earth person” He did not “put on airs” ; Being humble is used in conjunction with obedience, obedient, even to the point of death.

Paul concludes that God rewarded Jesus for the way that He handled himself while on earth, and therefore His name is exalted above all others. As for God's glory, the Greek word for “glory,” is doxa and is the root word for the English word “doxology.”

In contrast to the first man, (Adam) which was created in the image of God, and choose to become like God (by eating of the forbidden fruit), Jesus was God and choose to become just a common man. Now that is “humility.” love, unselfishness and unity with the Father.

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