HUMILIATION AND EXALTATION
Wherefore God has highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth (PHILIPPIANS 2:9,10).
It is always to be remembered when Paul thought and spoke about Jesus, his interest and his aim and intention were never primarily intellectual and speculative; they were always practical. To Paul theology and action were always bound together. Any system of thought for Him became away of life. In many ways this passage is one of the greatest reaches of theological thought in the New Testament, but its whole aim was to persuaded and compel men to live a life inwhich disunity, discord, and personal ambition were dead. So, then, Paul says of Jesus that He humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even the death of the Cross. The great characteristics of Jesus' life were humility, obedience, and self-renunciation. He did not desire to dominate men; He desired only God's way. He did not desire to exalt Himself; He desired to renounce all His glory for the sake of mankind. Again ad again the New Testament is sure that only the man who humbles himself will be exalted (MATTHEW 23:12; LUKE 14:11;18:14). If humility, obedience, and self-renunciation were the supreme characteristic of Jesus Christ, then they must also be the hallmark of the Christian, for theChristian must ever be as his LORD. Christian greatness and Christian fellowship alike depend on renunciation of self, and are destroyed by the exaltation of self. Selfishness, selfseeking, andself display destroy our likeness to Christ and our fellowship with each other.
But the self renunciation of Jesus Christ brought to Him the greater glory. It brought to Him the wondering worship of the whole universe. IT meant that one day soon or late, every living creature in all the universe, in Heaven, in earth, and even in hell would worship Him. Now it is to be carefully noted whence that worship come. It comes from LOVE. Jesus won the hearts of men, not by blasting them with power, but by showing them a love, a self sacrifice, and a self-renunciation which could not but move the heart. At the sight of this person who laid His glory down for mankind, and loved them to the extent of dying for them on the Cross, men's hearts are melted and men's resistance is broken down. When men worship Jesus Christ, they do not fall at His feet in broken submission, but, in WONDERING LOVE. A man does not say I can not resist a love like that, he says, Love so amazing, so divine, demands my life, my soul, my all. A man does not say I am battered to surrender; he says I am lost in WONDER, LOVE and PRAISE. It is not the might of Christ which reduces a man to defeated surrender, it is the amazing LOVE of Christ which makes him kneel before Christ in WONDERING LOVE. Worship is founde not on fear,but, on LOVE.
Further Paul says that as a consequence of His sacrificial love and His self renunciation, God gave Jesus the Name which is above evry name. One of the common biblical ideas is the giving of a new name to mark a new and definite stage in a man's life. Abram became Abraham when he received the Promise of God (GENESIS 17:5). Jacob became Israel when God entered into a new relationship with him (GENESIS 32:28). The Promise of the Risen Christ to both Pergamos and Philadephia is the promise of a new name (REVELATIONS 2:17; 3:12;). The new name is the mark of a new stage. What then is the new name which was given to Christ? We cannot be quite certain what exactly was in Paul's mind, but most likely the new name is LORD. The great title by which Jesus came tobe known in the early Church was the title Kurios, which we translate by the English word Lord. Jesus became specifically and characteristically the Lord Jesus. So then when Jesus was called Kurios (LORD), it meant that He was the Master and Owner of all life; He was the King of Kings; and the Lord of emperors; He was the LORD in away in which the heathen gods and the dumb idols could never be, He was nothing less than Divine. The new name of Jesus, the name by which the whole universe to one day call Him, is the name LORD.