Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
• Jon Courson •
The phrase in Greek is Kenoo, or literally, “emptied himself.” Jesus emptied Himself. Of what? Of His divinity? No. When Jesus came as a Man, He was still divine. Then of what did He empty Himself? He emptied Himself of His divine powers.
The implications of “kenosis” are huge because this means that everything Jesus did-the miracles He ministered, the prayers He prayed, the teachings He gave-were not done in His own power. Jesus healed and prayed and taught through the power of the Holy Spirit as He followed the Father’s directives.
Because I didn’t know this for probably 20 plus years, when I read that Jesus walked on water, I thought, big deal. He’s Jesus; when I read that He overcame temptation, I thought, big deal. He’s Jesus; when I read that He spent the night in prayer, I thought, big deal. He’s Jesus. Thus, the miracles and stories of the Gospels were irrelevant to me as far as they related to being an example or model for me.
I didn’t understand Kenosis. I didn’t grasp Philippians 2. I didn’t comprehend that when Jesus came to earth, He emptied Himself of His divine abilities-which means everything Jesus did, He did as a man just like me. Before He did anything, Jesus had to be obedient to the Father, to pray, to put Himself on the line, to be empowered by the Holy Spirit-or nothing would happen. That’s why Jesus said, “Of my own self, I can do nothing” John 5:30-and neither can we.
When a man who is serious about loving and serving God understands the kenosis of Philippians 2, he’ll never look at Jesus the same way. He’ll see that Jesus’ life is truly a model for anyone willing to be directed by the Father and empowered by the Spirit.
Kenosis tucked away in Philippians 2:7 is of high importance as it relates to joy as well. This is the mind that’s to be in us-where we empty ourselves of our rights, where we become servants.
How do you know if you’re a servant? There’s a very simple test: You’ll know your a servant by how you react when people treat you like one. All of us like to think of ourselves as servants. “I will serve You Lord because I love You…” we sing. But when someone treats me like a servant, I get offended.
Servants are not noticed. Servants are not thanked. Servants are not invited to dinner. No one compliments them. No one applauds them. They’re expected to do their work and not be seen. And that is the mind that is to be in me for Christ