STUDY 7: PHILIPPIANS 2:9 – 11

© Rosemary Bardsley 2020

When the disciples asked Jesus about greatness in his kingdom his response focused not on greatness but on humility.

What did Jesus teach about greatness in these texts?
Matthew 18:1 – 4

 

Matthew 23:1 – 12

 

Luke 22:24 – 27

 

John 13:12 – 17

 

Jesus taught that ‘whoever humbles himself will be exalted’. We have seen in Philippians 2:5 – 8 the extreme self-denying humility of Jesus Christ. Now, in verses 9 – 11, we see his extreme exaltation.

 

A. GOD EXALTED HIM TO THE HIGHEST PLACE

In the Gospels it is clear that Jesus knew that beyond his incarnation, beyond his death, he would return to the place he had come from.

What does Jesus say about this in these texts?
Matthew 26:64

John 7:33

John 14:12, 28

John 16:5

John 16:10

John 17:5

John 20:17

 

The ‘highest’ place is the place occupied by God: and that is where the exalted Jesus is. He is seated at the right hand of God – the position of sovereignty, authority and glory.

Check these verses. What did the apostles teach about this exaltation of Jesus?
Acts 2:33, 34

Acts 5:31

Acts 7:55, 56

Romans 8:34

Ephesians 1:20

Colossians 3:1

Hebrews 1:3

Hebrews 1:13

Hebrews 8:1

Hebrews 12:2

1Peter 3:22

 

For reflection/discussion: What impact does this exalted position of Jesus have on you? How should it affect your faith and obedience?

 

 

 

B. THE NAME ABOVE EVERY NAME

As part of this exaltation, Paul tells us that God ‘gave him the name that is above every name’ (Philippians 2:9).

Think about these verses. What names are given to Jesus? And what do these names teach you about Jesus?
Acts 2:36

Acts 4:10 – 12

Romans 9:5

Romans 10:9

1Corinthians 2:8

Colossians 1:15

Titus 2:13

Titus 3:6

Hebrews 1:5

Hebrews 1:8

1John 1:1

1John 2:1

1John 5:20

Revelation 19:13

Revelation 19:16

The ‘name above every name’ is nothing less than the name of God. That is who Jesus was before his incarnation. That is who he was during his incarnation. That is who he is now. And that is who he will be when he returns.

But the one who holds this ultimate name, is also ‘Jesus Christ of Nazareth’ who lived a real human life, was crucified, dying a real human death, and whom God raised in a real human body (Acts 4:10). It is ‘this same Jesus’ who ascended into heaven who ‘will come back in the same way’ (Acts 1:11). When he returns in power and glory to execute the wrath of God as the Lord of lords and King of kings, the robe on which that name is written is also the robe that is dipped in blood (Revelation 19:13 – 16).

 

C. ... THAT AT THE NAME OF JESUS ...

In Philippians 2:9 & 10 Paul states the purpose and result of God’s exaltation of Jesus. God’s purpose in exalting Jesus is twofold:

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow.
That every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

With the ultimate outcome:

That through this God the Father is glorified.

Jesus is exalted and given the name above all names, so that he will be honoured as the one who is the Lord ought to be honoured. And in that appropriate acknowledgement and honouring of Jesus, God is honoured. In that honouring of Jesus as Lord, our human rejection of God and rebellion against God is reversed. In that honouring of Jesus as Lord, God is again given the glory due to him.

Check these verses. How do they connect the rightful honouring of God with honouring Jesus?
John 5:22, 23

John 8:42, 47

John 12:44

John 13:20

John 17:1

 

Failure to honour Jesus is failure to honour God. To acknowledge Jesus as Lord, is to acknowledge God. To believe in Jesus is to believe in God. To hear/obey the word of Jesus, is to hear/obey God. If we are not honouring Jesus as God, then we are not honouring God. It is as simple, and as exclusive, as that.

But there is another truth embedded in this verse. While at present those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord are only a small percentage of the world’s population, the time is coming when everyone will see with unavoidable clarity that Jesus Christ is indeed the Lord God Almighty. There will be no room for doubts and denials. His power, his authority, his glory, will be evident.

Check these verses. What do they say about the evident power and glory of Jesus? And how does this recognition of his authority impact various people?
Revelation 1:7

Revelation 5:13

Revelation 6:15 – 17

Revelation 7:9, 10

Revelation 22:3 – 5

Revelation 22:20

Now answer these questions:

In which group of people are you – those who welcome his coming, or those who shrink from it?

What is the key difference between these two groups?

What is the fate of these two groups?

What makes those who welcome his coming so confident and joyful?

What is your personal confession regarding the identity of Jesus Christ?