I have been reflecting on what Christ renounced to live here on earth.
“rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”
Philippians 2:7 NIV
In his book Knowing Christ Today: Why We Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge, Dallas Willard states that we are to live as Christ would have lived our specific life.
“As Jesus’ disciple… You are learning from Jesus how to lead your life as he would lead your life if he were you. Yes, the very life you have…there isn’t a person on this earth Jesus couldn’t have been. .. he relinquished supreme power. He learned to live in the kingdom of God as an ordinary human being…He could live in your circumstances now.” P. 54
He could have been any one of us. Instead he was a carpenter’s son, living on the wrong side of the Pax Romana. How would he have lived your life in particular? Perhaps that is part of what he gave up- the ability to live all lives, to be omnipresent and to see humanity from every perspective. Jesus was only able to live the one life here on earth, just as we are limited. We can only see with the single pair of eyes that God created for us. How would Jesus have used my blue eyes in America in the 21st century?
Our prayer might be to catch glimpses of his omniscient vision as Creator and Savior. As C. S. Lewis encourages us,
But in reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.
C.S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism
In this way, may he teach us as the all-knowing God of the universe, and may his pattern as a man speak to us of his compassion and wisdom as he also was limited in his humanity.
2 thoughts on “He made himself nothing”
Am I ready to become “nothing”? What stands in a way? In my case, selfishness.
I think selfishness is what stands in all of our way. Selfishness and fear ( or lack of trust). I think you are right, though, in finding one of the main points in this verse being “and I should be like this, too.”