December 15

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:5-8)

Today’s passage is a concise, perfectly distilled picture of the gospel. Jesus is God, who became a man in order to become our stand-in and absorb the punishment for our sins on our behalf. The words “servant” and “slave” are often translated “bond-servant” when describing Jesus and the nature of His work. The significance of this phrase to our theology can’t be overstated. Yes, it’s important to understand that Jesus is God, but even demons understand that. Yes, it’s important to understand that Jesus died on the cross, but even the demons understand that. Along with all of this, we must understand why He did what He did, and what He accomplished in taking on the role of a servant. Then we must respond in kind by becoming bond—servants of the Lord.

As bond-servants of Christ, we follow Him and serve Him, not because we’re forced to do so, and not because He needs us to labor on His behalf, but because we choose to do so in faith. Because, although Jesus is God, He took on the form of a bond-servant and bought our freedom at the price of His own life.

  1. As you think about Jesus as a servant, what verses come to mind?
  2. What excuses do people make so as to not serve others?


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