Scripture: Philippians 2:9-11, NLT
Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,to the glory of God the Father.
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. [NASB]
Therefore or for this reason, God highly exalted Him. In the previous verses, Paul talks about Christ condescension or His humiliation. Note verse 8, “Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Paul said in Ephesians 4…Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things. Note: Christ descended before He ascended. Christ came down before He went up giving us a pattern of God’s way.
- This world depreciated Christ…Heaven adores HIM
- This world rejected Christ…Heaven gave HIM full affirmation
- Man dishonored Christ [tried to stone Him, eventually crucified Him]…Heaven honors Christ
- Man mocked Christ…God exalted Christ
- Man put Him down…God raised Him up
1. THE REASON OF HIS EXALTATION
For his willingness to become man, to take on the garb of our flesh and humble Himself though He is truth was greater than the greatest king; for his willingness to become poor, to become a servant, to come under the law, to be subject to the law and most of all for His willingness to die on the CROSS like a common criminal…for these noble reason, God has highly exalted HIM.
2. THE MEANS OF HIS EXALTATION
It is interesting to note: Jesus did not exalt Himself. He never denied His deity: had He done such, He would have been dishonest but on the other hand, He never put Himself on a pedestal. He had the attitude of a servant. Though He was God, He did not look on man in a condescending way. He looked up to the woman caught in adultery, He looked up to His disciples when He was washing their feet. They were sitting, He was kneeling. When you kneel to serve, you are always looking up. Jesus did not exalt HIMSELF. He was God and I suppose He could have but He didn’t. Paul makes it clear that God the Father exalted Christ the Son. We have before us the perfect example: our calling is to serve. We are never to exalt ourselves, never! We are told time and time again to “humble ourselves” but we are never commanded in Scripture to exalt ourselves. If we humble ourselves in service like Christ, God will in due time exalt us as He did Christ.
My Pastor and mentor was Calvin Coolidge Inman. He was a very humble man who taught me to allow the host to do the setting. He would tell me the story in Luke 14…“When you are invited to a wedding feast, don’t sit in the seat of honor. What if someone who is more distinguished than you has also been invited? The host will come and say, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then you will be embarrassed, and you will have to take whatever seat is left at the foot of the table!” He grounded me in the truth: “Always allow God to place you so that when the storms come, you have the assurance that you are where God put you. Do not promote yourself or try to get a bigger or better church. Let God place you where ever He wants you.” I totally agree with my mentor. For 45 years I have served small rural churches. I heard a preacher says once that he had pastored every church in Alabama that ran less than 100 in Sunday School and I can identify. I don’t have a resume and it wouldn’t do me any good if I had one. I have never had or used a resume. If I exalt myself, it will mean nothing in the long run. Even if friends or relatives exalt me, eventually it will mean nothing. God the Father is the exalter. When He moves you to a table closer to the front, it means something. I’m just glad to be in the banquet hall.
3. THE ENTEND OF HIS EXALTATION
God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name. God exalted Christ above everything on earth, under the earth and I would assume that means hell but also above everything in Heaven. God HIGHLY exalted Christ. He gave HIM a name which is above every name.
Moses and Abraham are good names in the Hebrew family. Job had an excellent name. I rank Job at the top of humans with the exception of Jesus and John the Baptist. Martin Luther is a good name. Christopher Columbus is a good name. George Washington is an excellent name. The eleven Apostles and the Apostle Paul have great names. David is mentioned in the bible a lot and there are probably more boys named David than any other name. I had a granddaddy named David, two uncles named David, a brother named David and now a son named David who has a son named David. That is four generations of David’s in the Bailey Family. BUT God gave His Son a name that is above all other names…JESUS.
Have you noticed that unHollywood likes to take the name of Jesus in vain. They never use Mohammed’s name in vain. They never use Buddha’s name in vain. Why is it that men want to use God’s name in vain? Thousand of Jewish males were crucified by the Romans, can you name two of them? No but you can name one. The people in Hollywood and New York city can name one. I’m telling you, God has exalted the name Jesus above every name. Walk into a bar or honkey-tonk and talk about Jack: they will ignore you. Go in a bar and start talking about Jesus and see what happens. The Muslims know the name Jesus: they hate it but they know it. When it comes to notoriety and power, there is no name like Jesus. God has given Him a name above all names.
The name Jesus is so exalted that at the mention of His name, knees will bow and tongues confess. We sing songs in worship that we do not mean. We sing about clapping our hands but we don’t clap our hands. We sing about bowing before Him but we stand proud and tall. We were singing one of those songs last Sunday that talks about worshipping Christ in a bowed position and I called a time-out. I said, “We are going to sing this chorus again and when we come to the part about bowing before him, I want you to bow. If you can’t get out of your seat, just sit and bow in the fetal position: if you can get to an isle, I want you to bow on your knees.” Then I went back to my seat on the front row where I sit alone. I have an entire pew to myself. I kneeled by the pew so I could use it to get up. As I was getting up, I noticed in the area in front of the altar, a group of students bowing prostrate on the floor.
Remember the old FRAME oil filter commercials: “See me now or see me later.” Well, “You can bow now or bow later but sooner are later, you will bow.” EVERY knee will bow. Kings will bow. Presidents will bow. VIP’s will bow. Communist will bow. Muslims will bow and every knee will bow. I was on one knee last Sunday but a day is coming when every knee will bow. Folks, I am not above doubt but I just don’t have any doubt that this is going to happen. The world system that conspires against Christ and persecutes His followers will one day bow both knees and confess that HE IS LORD.
4. THE RESULTS OF HIS EXALTATION
Every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15…For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. And the last enemy to be destroyed is death. For the Scriptures say, “God has put all things under his authority.”(Of course, when it says “all things are under his authority,” that does not include God himself, who gave Christ his authority.) Then, when all things are under his authority, the Son will put himself under God’s authority, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.
Ultimately: God the Father will be glorified in God the Son just as God the Father glorified His Son…John 17…The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
What is our response? Is this a thrilling passage of hope that encourages you? To those who have a relationship with Jesus: it is a thrill and we look forward to the day when every knee will bow and Jesus will get the credit He deserves. A RELATIONSHIP with Christ is the key. Kinfolk rejoice over the accomplishments of their kin. If you are a sports fan, you have seen it time and time again: The camera scrolls through the crowd and lands on the parents of a player on the field. Then when that player does something outstanding on the field and the camera goes back to his/her family, do they look sad and ashamed? No, they are happy and proud. They celebrate their child’s accomplishment. There is no jealousy or envy.