Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 2:5
If I had to choose one passage of Scripture that describes the core of who Jesus Christ is, I would select Philippians 2, which deals with the humiliation of Christ. This isn’t humiliation in terms of embarrassment; rather, it refers to the humbling of Christ as He took on human flesh and died the cruel death of a lawbreaker when in fact He was the only sinless man ever to walk the earth.
Verse 6 in this chapter affirms the deity of Christ, who “existed in the form of God” but who also “did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped.” Jesus did not selfishly hold on to His status as God; He gave it up for our sakes. His deity was never compromised—He did not cease being God—but He chose to leave heaven because of His love for us. Paul tells us we should have this attitude and be willing to relinquish our prerogatives for the greater good and glory of God.
Whenever you hold on to your own prerogatives, you risk missing out on God’s plan for your life and losing the very things you’re trying to hold on to. People are quick to claim their rights, to speak up for what they think they deserve. But we are to follow the example of Jesus, who humbled Himself so that we might be saved. Philippians 2:7 says that Christ “emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant.”
Jesus didn’t give up His deity, but He deprived Himself of the normal privileges of deity by taking on the form of a man—a servant. He did this entirely voluntarily. He didn’t have to. But He did it because He loves us.