May 04

Print this Post


In this article we will be looking at one of the more difficult passages in the New Testament. The diffculty is because of the subject and the subject is God becoming man! It is difficult to understand because; first, the subject starts with God and God is so far above man, that we humans just naturally have trouble understanding God. Men have tried through the years to make God into the image of man, as we understand man to a point. We try to bring God to our own level. This is a real problem when it comes to sin. God hates sin! Yes, even the sins I commit. You see, it is not so great a problem when it is your sin but when it is my sin, then, I have a real problem saying it is sin!
So, first, we have a real problem understanding God! Second, we have a major problem when, as we like to say, the second member of the Godhead; “the Word,” (John 1:1) “was made flesh” (John 1:14). Can God really become man, as in flesh and blood; be temped as man is and yet, not sin? Just think of this, can you get a handle on Enoch? Let Moses tell us about Enoch: “And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Gen. 5:21 – 24). Do we not have trouble really getting a handle on Enoch? He lived in such a manner, “Enoch walked with God,” that “God took him,” as took him out of the worldly elements. Do you know anyone who so lives today? The answer to this question is why we have so much trouble understanding Enoch.
Then, Paul wrote this: “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:7). Paul is writing about God! God took “upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” The “likeness” is the Greek “homoioma,” and means: “that which has been made after the likeness of something” (Thayer). In the case before us, the “something” is men; as in God “was made after the likeness of men!” Like you and I; as in human! How can God be made in “the likeness” of men? Do you understand how? The inspired writers spell it out, to help us but we are so weak, so prone to sin, how can God be made in our “likeness” and still be God? In this awesome event, “the Word was made flesh,” we have a tendency as we are more likely to just read over it and go on our way. But, this is less than Paul, through the Holy Spirit, would have us to do! It may appear to us, that this is really an impossibility; for James wrote: “… for God cannot be tempted with evil…” (James 1:13); while at the same time in Hebrews we read: “… was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). Do you get the idea, that Jesus was one awesome being? Yes! He was us but not us! You see we sin but he did not sin! Yet, he “was made in the likeness of men!” Men, that is us! If we are amazed at Enoch, who “walked with God” so that God just took him out of this world. Then, there was Jesus! A flesh and blood being, within whom God was; yet this flesh and blood being was tempted as we are tempted but not one sin committed!
So, Paul wrote: being “equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:6-7). This being is seen in the garden praying: “O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done” (Matt. 26:42). Just who is praying? Jesus! Yes, but look more closely and see the one who was made in our “likeness,” but wait, look again. What do you see? The one who was God but was also made in our “likeness” having the same problems we have and here he is praying. What was he praying about? First, he said: “if this cup (his death upon the cross, frw) may not pass away from me, except I drink it (suffer death, frw). Second, he said: “thy will be done.” How much agony was Jesus in, as he uttered the words: “nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). Notice the words of Jesus, “nevertheless not my will.” Whose “will?” The humanity of Jesus! Not his Deity for Diety agrees with Diety, but his humanity! Here is Jesus, surrendering his humanity to the will of God; even his Father!
Do you see Jesus? How beautiful the words of the old song: “They bound the hands of Jesus in the garden where he pray; They led him through the street in shame; They spat upon the Saviour so pure and free from sin; They said crucify him he’s to blame; He could have called ten thousand angels to destroy the world and set him free. He could have called ten thousand angels but he died alone for you and me.” There is Jesus!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: https://okcsbs.com/jesus-5/