Hymn to Christ


Currently we're doing a Bible study on Paul's Letter to the Philippians and we've got as far as the hymn to Christ in Philippians chapter 2. It is pregnant with meaning (and controversy) probably due to its likely origins as a hymn/poem rather than as a piece of systematic theology. The context into which Paul drops it (whether Paul or another originally wrote it is almost irrelevant) is a passage where he is encouraging the Philippians to work together. What follows is my (prosaic) take on this wonderful piece:

Think of yourselves the way that Jesus, the Anointed One, thought of himself:
He was God, through and through,
but did not cling on to his equality with God,
didn’t grasp at things for his own selfish ends,
rather he poured himself out
into the shape of a slave,
taking on the physical life of a human being.
Having become a human being he humbled himself yet further,
obeying God to the death,
ironically to a death that was reserved for rebellious slaves,
death by crucifixion.
But because of his humble obedience and humiliating death
God has exalted him high above anyone and everything
Given him a name to be honoured above every name
So that at the mention of the name of Jesus
every knee will one day bow,
Everyone in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every voice will proclaim that Jesus, the Anointed One, is Lord,
God and King,
And what brings glory to Jesus brings glory to God the Father.

Philippians 2:5-11


Selah

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