Falling and Rising

Jeff Munroe

Read: Philippians 2:1-11

Let this mind be in you. (v. 5 KJV)

Yesterday I mentioned that the apostle Paul’s writings are sometimes difficult to understand because of their dense theological arguments. This is not the case with the letter to the Philippians, which may well be Paul’s most beloved epistle, perhaps because he avoids theological disputation in it. It’s a happy letter, returning often to the theme of joy, and it is filled with encouraging and memorable verses.

In this remarkable letter, chapter 2 may be most remarkable, both because of its tightly constructed sentences and because of its beautiful exploration of who Jesus is. As Paul is urging the Philippians to model themselves after Jesus, he describes the paradox of the incarnation, a paradox the whole Christian faith revolves around: that by emptying himself and making himself nothing, Jesus is exalted.

We love paradoxical stories: Dorothy Gale travels far away to the land of Oz and learns there’s no place like home. The mighty Dark Lord Sauron can only be defeated by a simple hobbit named Frodo and his even simpler companion Sam. We are drawn to paradox. Unlike these others, the paradoxical Christian story happens to be true: Jesus’ downward descent led him to a shameful death on a cross, and through this, God lifted him up and gave him the name that is above every name. —Jeff Munroe

As you pray, imagine a world where every knee bows and tongue confesses that Jesus is Lord. Ask that this might indeed become true.