In Jesus Christ day, the eldest son of say a king, received the same basic privileges and authority as his father has, yet the king is greater than the two because of his power and position. This is an orientalism or a custom of the time, people and culture.
Let’s look at our verse.
(Jesus Christ) “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:” Philippians 2:6
There are two words you must know here from the Greek. The first on is “form”. Form is the Greek word morphe, meaning an external appearance. Children are said to reflect the appearance of their parents. Jesus Christ reflected both his parents. He was human and reflected his human mother, and his blood was from his Father, so it was perfect and reflected his Father. This is why he could be called the Lamb of God, and the we can claim healing or deliverance because of the blood of the Lamb. He had perfect blood. Sometime, if you have time, check out how the circulation of the mother and the fetus’s blood works while pregnant. Their two bloods never mix or meet. It’s simply amazing.
The second word I’d like you to look at, is “equal”. It is the Greek word isos. We derive our English word “isosceles” from this word. An isosceles triangle is a one with two sides of equal degrees even though the angles are not identical. This adds to our understanding of the orientalism.
**Let me back up and add that an orientalism is defined as; (according to Wikipedia) something considered characteristic of the people and cultures of west, east, or central Asia.• the knowledge and study of these languages and cultures. These are cultural quirks. Things a culture does among their own people. It’s often unsaid, it is often related to the time and locality. Such as a local fad or it can cover a generational plan.
Orientalisms apply to situations all over the Bible and we as Bible students must study up on our orientalisms, or at least be aware that if something isn’t clear it might be an orientalism. Philippians 2:6 is a great example. If instead, we interpreted this verse as Jesus Christ is God and Jesus Christ claimed that he was God, the Judean people would have never considered him as the possible Messiah. They would have called him insane.
Look in John 5:18 with me.
“Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him (Jesus Christ) because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal (isos) to God.”
Jesus was saying that as God’s son, he had equal privileges and authority here on earth as God does, not that he was God. But, the person claiming to be the Son of God was disturbing because according to Judaic doctrine that was a possibility. They simply rejected Jesus as that promised Messiah. Isn’t that so freeing to understand.
Now, let’s tie this together.
In the previous verse in Philippians 2:5 Paul said, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Then verse 6 says that Jesus Christ thought it not robbery to be equal with God as His son with all the privileges and rights of a son of a king would have. If we let these same thought be in us that Jesus Christ had, then we bring ourselves up to that level of equality as sons of God and a joint-heir with Christ. What a tremendous hoist for the more abundant life! If we put on the thoughts of Christ, we consider ourselves isos, or equal to being God’s children just as Jesus Christ did! Wow! I have goose bumps right now.
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” 1 John 3:1
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.” Romans 8:16-17
WOW!!! I love how the God proves His own case against a world of doubters. Friend, we are imbued with power from on high. Every cell in our bodies surge with life quickening spirit because when we believed and we received this gift of adoption into God’s mighty kingdom as His children. This was the totality of the task of the Messiah. He was to bring us to our Father, the God of all creation.
Let’s go up one verse in Romans,
“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, (Hebrew word meaning “Daddy”) Father.” Romans 8:15
On this one verse in Philippians we see the victory, the exalted power and dominion of our sonship rights. Jesus Christ had the privilege and power to heal and cast out devils and walk on water. What if we believed we had even half that in our own lives? What could we accomplish for God and for ourselves? What could we know, without doubting, what is available in our lives?
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” John 14:12
This verse comes to mind again because it echos this whole theme. Jesus Christ believes in you! God equipped you and chose you from before the foundation of the earth to be His child. If we want to see the promises of God in our lives that we must accept this as a reality and choose daily to receive the fullness of its abundance.
Let this truth ring in your heart today as you walk in God’s glorious liberty and truth.
God bless you today!