Messiah: The Glory of the God-Man
Matthew 16:28–17:2; Philippians 2:5–9
Matthew Lesson #093
September 13, 2015
“Our Father, we’re thankful for this time together that we may come and study Your Word in freedom. We’re thankful that we have a nation that still honors the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, that we have freedom to gather, freedom to assemble, freedom to preach, proclaim, to teach Your Word, to believe as we will and without government interference.
Father, we pray that this might continue. We continue to pray for government leaders, that you might restrain the evil influence upon them and that you might restrain their hands in doing that which further diminishes the freedom that we have.
Father, we pray that You would raise up men and women who can lead this nation and who will have clear thinking, and not be self-serving but servants of the people and servants of the law.
Father, we pray for us this morning as we study Your Word, that we might be challenged by what we study, that we might gain a greater understanding and appreciation of who our Savior is and the role and the significance of that role in our salvation.
We pray this in Christ’s Name. Amen.”
I have always loved going to movies. Ever since I was a kid I loved going to movies. Until maybe the last decade, the movies really haven’t been quite up to par.
But one of the things I always loved about going to see a movie at the movie theater was to see the previews of coming attractions, to watch all the trailers to find out what was coming out, especially if I knew something was coming out that I was anticipating. Then I could finally see what they had done with it and whether it looked like it might be a good film or not. I’ve always loved those previews of coming attractions.
Well, that’s what we get in this passage today—a preview of the coming attraction at the end of Matthew 16. Then we get a trailer that covers the first part of Matthew 17 focusing on the future kingdom, and it is a snapshot for us, as it were, of what the kingdom is going to be like.
Just a foretaste of the kingdom: (and Jesus is giving this to His disciples to strengthen their faith, to give them a little more understanding of what is taking place, reinforcing what He has taught since Matthew 13) that the kingdom is not going to come now.
The kingdom is not here in any way, shape, or form. There is not a spiritualized form of the kingdom. And there is not a mystery form of the kingdom, as I have taught.
The kingdom is future.
The kingdom is a literal, physical, political kingdom that is going to be on the earth. Jesus will be reigning from a literal throne of David in a literal Jerusalem. This is what was prophesied in the Old Testament.
It’s very, very clear that this was what was to come; and this is what was offered by John the Baptist, and then by Jesus; and then by His disciples–to the Jewish people.
But we reached that climax in Matthew 12 when the leaders of Israel rejected Jesus—that He performed His miracles in the power of Beelzebub, attributed His power to Satan.
At that point, Jesus announces that they’ve committed this blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which is a rejection of the kingdom, assigning the power of Satan to the Messiah. From that point on, the kingdom was never offered to Israel again prior to the crucifixion.
Now it’s going to be reoffered in Acts, but at this point, there’s no reoffering of the kingdom. The kingdom is postponed, and it isn’t going to come.
Last time we looked at this, and we saw that in the buildup to what occurs in Matthew 17 really starts in verse 13 of Matthew 16, kind of the end of the previous section where Jesus is training His disciples. It culminates at that situation that occurs in Caesarea Philippi.
Jesus is teaching, and Matthew is focusing in this section from Matthew 16:13 through the episode of where Jesus says, “Who do men say that I am?” and interacting with Peter’s answers that, “You’re the Messiah, the Son of the Living God,” to Jesus’ next statement related to His coming crucifixion, and that it’s necessary for Him to suffer many things from the elders and chief priest, and to be killed, and then to be raised on the third day.
They still couldn’t get their minds around it at all. They just couldn’t grasp that. And Peter steps in and makes a fool of himself.
It really is a good thing that we have Peter because most of us can identify with him because we make spiritual fools of ourselves every now and then, and so if it weren’t for Peter, we would think we were in real trouble.
But there’s that interaction between Peter and the Lord, and then the Lord tells them again that He is going to be going to the Cross, sets forth a condition for discipleship—not salvation.
Every person that believes in Jesus Christ receives a free gift of salvation. We don’t do anything to earn or deserve it. Salvation is by grace alone through faith. It is a free gift.
But once we’re saved, there are still responsibilities for each and every believer. If you want to be a true follower of Jesus Christ, if you really want to be a disciple, then there are things that you must do.
We must accept that we’ve been given a new life, and that there are responsibilities associated with that new life. There are challenges related to that life, and we have to learn to submit to the authority of God.
We can’t just live our lives without concern or care for these obligations that the Lord has placed on us as new members of His royal family.
So these different conditions that are placed upon discipleship by our Lord in the Gospels are simply saying it’s great that you’re saved, that you’re a member of the family, but if you’re going to act like a member of the family, this is what is expected of you if you really want to follow Me.
Again He’s going to use this idiom of taking up our Cross and following Him, and that’s misunderstood and misused a lot.
But the imagery that we have historically from the time of Rome is that when there was a criminal who had egregiously violated the authority of Rome and gone against Rome, then in order to demonstrate to everyone the power and the authority of Rome, he was to carry his cross to the execution place.
This idea of taking up your cross doesn’t refer to just anything. It refers specifically, it’s an idiom at that time, for someone who was being forced or someone who was submitting to the authority of whomever.
Jesus is using this as an idiom—that if you want to be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, you have to submit to God’s authority.
We have to be willing to submit and humble ourselves by obedience, which is what we’ll see emphasized in our corollary passage this morning.
So the focus on this setup at the end of Matthew 16 is to help the disciples understand the contemporary ideas of the Messiah—that the Messiah would come in glory would defeat the enemies of Israel and establish His kingdom.
But what Jesus was emphasizing is that no, this isn’t the way it’s laid out in Scripture.
The crown doesn’t come before the Cross, or the crown doesn’t come without the Cross. The crown comes after the Cross. First the Cross, then the crown.
The Messiah must come and first suffer before He is glorified. The emphasis on His glory comes secondary here.
We see it mentioned in verse 27, “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels.”
As I pointed last time, that’s the first clear statement that there’s going to be a suffering and death, that’s verse 21, followed by another future coming and that’s verse 27.
So in this section, getting into the first part of Matthew 17, we’re going to see the teaching on the glory of the God-Man.
The place where this is taking place is in the north of Israel. Jesus is taking His disciples, according to Matthew 16:13, up to Caesarea Philippi. It’s basically a Roman city, but it was built there to honor Caesar by Philip the Tetrarch, one of the sons of Herod.
As I pointed out last time, it’s a great backdrop where Jesus is using the natural surroundings to teach a doctrinal point. He’s emphasizing this huge rock escarpment there. Then there’s a play on words with “Peter the rock,” and “on this rock I will build my church,” but He’s just playing off of the surroundings.
The big dark hole you see on the left in the back was an opening into a huge chasm. At that time there was a Roman temple there to the god Pan, and that was thought to be the gates of Hades.
So you can see as you read through this that you can understand the passage without knowing the physical surroundings, but once you understand the physical surroundings, it kind of opens up the dialog a little bit.
Jesus emphasizes that the next thing on the timeline is that He’s going to suffer, that He’s going to be arrested, He’s going to be tortured, He’s going to be crucified and killed, and then He’s going to be buried. Then He will be raised on the third day. But they just don’t hear that.
Peter doesn’t hear that, and he just says, “No, no Lord, none of this can happen to You,” at which point Jesus says you’re taking Satan’s role, you’re operating on human viewpoint, and you have to get with the plan.
He harshly rebukes him for that, and of course then Jesus goes on to talk about those who truly follow Him must be willing to take up their cross, deny themselves, quit living the life for yourself, life it for the Lord, and follow Him.
Then He gives a one-line, a tag-line in verse 28, which gives a bit of a preview of coming attractions right now, and He says, “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
Now that is a tantalizing line, because He’s indicating that if you’re one of them—remember they’re not really getting clued into a lot of things; the more they learn the more confused they are. They’d be thinking, “Well, we’re going to see the kingdom. It’s postponed, but maybe not that far.”
Then if they thought any further, they’d say, “Wait a minute. The way He said that was that some will taste death, but some won’t taste death, so there’s some of us maybe who are going to die.”
If they thought about it much more, then they would be a little concerned about who it is that might live. But they didn’t really have much of a chance to respond to that, although they may have discussed it, because as we’ll see at the end of verse 1 after six days go by between this statement and what occurs on the Mount of Transfiguration.
Then Jesus says, “Some of you will see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
Now that phrase is pregnant with significance. The term “Son of Man” comes out of Daniel 7. Daniel sees these visions of the future kingdoms that are going to come.
He understands the Persians are going to come, and then the Persians are going to be replaced by the Greeks, and then the Greeks are going to be replaced by the Romans.
There’s something really unusual about this future kingdom that’s Rome, because it is depicted as this veracious monster that has ten horns. We understand that it is picturing not only the Roman Empire of history, but also the restored or revived Roman Empire that will come in the future.
Then Daniel has a vision of the throne room of God. In the throne room of God, he sees the Son of Man, and that title “Son of Man” emphasizes the humanity of this figure, and the Son of Man is the Messiah.
This is a Messianic title. It’s Jesus’ most favorite, most common term to describe Himself. Again and again and again He refers to himself as the Son of Man.
So the Son of Man then approaches a figure called the “Ancient of Days” in Daniel 7. The Ancient of Days is God the Father. And the Son of Man approaches the Ancient of Days and requests the kingdom. Then the Ancient of Days gives the kingdom to the Son.
Now this is all yet future, because the picture we see of Jesus during the Church Age is what? He is seated at the right hand of God the Father. He is seated waiting. Waiting for what? Waiting for the time to come when He will request of the Father the kingdom.
That time period, which is yet future to us, is what’s pictured in Daniel 7. The Son of Man requests the kingdom, and the Father gives Him the kingdom. Then the Son of Man will come to the earth and defeat the kings of the kingdoms of man on the earth. That’s what occurs at the Second Coming.
So this is something that Jesus is alluding to here in verse 28—that there are some here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom. That is, they will see the glory of the Son when He comes as King. Right now you don’t see the glory of the Son, but you will see the glory of the Son.
Then Matthew tells us after six days (now what went on during that six days we don’t know), but Jesus was continuing to teach His disciples many things, and probably answering many questions.
But they are still probably in that same area of Caesarea Philippi. They could have started heading south, so we’re not sure. But they spent those six days, and they’re still north of the Sea of Galilee before they head south towards Jerusalem.
So after six days then, Jesus took Peter, James, and John His brother, and He takes them aside, and He takes them up on a high mountain by themselves.
Now this is the most intimate circle among the disciples for Jesus. James and John are the sons of thunder, they’re brothers, and then there’s Peter. Peter seems to be the one who’s got the mouth on him that speaks up for the disciples most.
But he takes those three with Him, and He’s going to take them aside for a special revelation. They are going to get that preview of coming attractions. They’re going to see a foretaste of the kingdom. And that’s what’s described, briefly introduced to us in verse 2:
“He was transfigured—Jesus was transfigured—before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.”
The verb here is METAMORPHOO which is where we get our word “metamorphosis.” It means a complete transformation.
Jesus is completely transformed. He doesn’t become something else. I think that’s important to understand—He is still who He is. He’s the God-Man, but suddenly it’s like this veil is removed and His glory shines forth.
The background to understanding this and what is going to be said in the next seven or eight verses is critical to take some time and go through and understand what the Bible teaches about Jesus as the God-Man, what is called the Hypostatic Union, the union of two substances in one Person.
That’s what we’re going to look at this morning.
While you’re turning in your Bibles to Philippians 2, I’m going to put this picture up here on the screen. This is a picture of Mount Hermon. This is the highest mountain in Israel. They do have a ski area up there, so they have skiing up there all winter.
But this is located just to the northeast, if you’re standing in Caesarea Philippi there—those of you who’ve been to Israel will remember this—if you’re standing there, you can just look up to the northeast, and you can see Mount Hermon. It just stands out.
This is the traditional sight of the Mount of Transfiguration, but it could have been any number of smaller rises that are there up on the Golan Heights. I remember a couple of times when we’ve been there, the Golan Heights are actually where this picture is being taken from. It’s just right there near the base of Mount Hermon.
There are a number of hills and smaller mountains, and many of them look like they’ve grown hair. You can just imagine. Have you ever seen the head of an elephant and all this really thick little spiny hair that grows up there?
That’s what these mountains look like, because they’re covered in antennas for satellites and for radar and all kinds of things, because the Israelis have to keep up with everything that going on, because this is right on the Syrian border. So there are a lot of these different places there.
So this is the traditional sight of the Mount of Transfiguration, but we really don’t know if that’s the actual sight or not.
When we think about the Hypostatic Union, what I want to remind us of is that when you go back into the Old Testament and you look at all the Messianic prophecies, there are basically two things that are emphasized in these Messianic prophesies. Some of them pull them together in one, but most of them emphasize one or the other.
The first is a stream that emphasizes the fact that this Messiah is divine.
For example, in Isaiah 9:6 He’s called a mighty God. He is called Emanuel in Isaiah 7:14. He is God with us. Another of other places emphasizes the deity of the Messiah.
Then you have another stream that emphasizes His humanity, that He is also a man. He is the Son of David. He is a descendant of David, so that makes Him genuine humanity. He is born of a virgin, so there’s a human birth there.
These were not clearly understood by the prophets of the Old Testament or even at the time of Christ, because sometimes (and in some of the interpretations), in Judaism they saw two Messiahs—they had two different Messiahs.
So this was somewhat confusing, but when we get to the New Testament, it’s very clear that Jesus is the God-Man Messiah. You have deity united with humanity in one Person. That’s the essence of this term, the Hypostatic Union.
Now the critical passage to look at on this, and the central passage and one of my favorites to study, is in Philippians 2. It’s been some time since we’ve looked at this in any detail, so I thought we’d take a little more time to do that this morning and understand the Hypostatic Union.
Now the context is there’s a little bit of divisiveness and a little bit of conflict going on in the church at Philippi—not a whole lot, but there’s a little bit. The problem always is arrogance.
When two people disagree over something, it’s always arrogance. When you disagree with each other in a marriage, arrogance is lurking somewhere. When you disagree with a co-worker, you disagree with a friend, arrogance is always lurking behind everything.
So what Paul is emphasizing here is the necessity of humility in human relationships. The necessity of humility. Humility is a poorly understood concept today. Humility as it’s expressed in this passage is submitting to authority.
Moses was called the most humble man in the Old Testament—not because he was just walked over by everybody, because Moses certainly wasn’t. He exuded authority, and he led 3,000,000 Jews through the wilderness for 40 years—but because he was submitted to the authority of God. That is the essence of humility, and that’s exactly what we see in this particular passage.
But in giving this illustration, the Apostle Paul wants us to understand how this is exemplified in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It begins with this command to “have this attitude in yourselves, which was also in Christ Jesus.”
In other words, he’s saying, “If you’re going to have a ministry, if you’re going to walk with the Lord, if you’re going to go anywhere in your spiritual life, then you need to develop this humility. You need to be able to think like Jesus thought. You need to have a mental attitude like Jesus had.”
The word that he uses here is the Greek word PHRONEO, which means to think, to reason, or to have a certain mental attitude or mental outlook.
You need to be characterized by this Christ-likeness in the way you look at life—that we are here not to impress people with who we are, but as believers in Christ, we’re here to impress people about who Jesus Christ is, and He is to be the focus.
So he says to have this attitude or this mentality in yourselves, which is also in Christ Jesus. “Well, okay, Paul, what exactly is that attitude that you’re talking about? What exactly do you mean here?”
He goes on to explain this in the next verse. He says, “who”—that refers back to the Lord Jesus Christ—“who although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself”—in verse 7—“of no reputation, taking the form of a bond-servant, and coming in the likeness of men.”
Now those two verses really nailed down what is meant by the Hypostatic Union. He’s fully God, undiminished deity. He’s eternally God in all of His essence. Then he adds to that “humanity” so that He becomes a genuine, true human being. So that He doesn’t lose any of His deity, but He adds to it “humanity.”
Slides 15, 16
Now let’s see how this is played out in the exegesis. He uses this interesting word “He existed”, HUPARCHO, which has to do with an existence.
Now we’re going to see a contrast here, because if you look down to verse 7 where it says “He made Himself, and He came in a form of a bond-servant, coming in the likeness of men,” he uses the word HEGEOMAI, which indicates in many passages “becoming something that you weren’t already.” So it clearly reinforces in reference to His humanity becoming something that He wasn’t already.
The deity part always existed, so this is talking about an eternal existence, and it’s a participle and it’s concessive, which means that despite what you might think, something else is true.
So that’s called the concessive participle, usually translated, “Although He existed in the form of God, He did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped.”
Well, this idea of form, this word here is the word MORPHE.
If you study words, words have morphology. If you study anatomy, you can also talk about the form of different things in the anatomy, and that would also be the term morphology. We get it from this word, and it refers to the nature, the essence of something in this context.
That’s further emphasized in just the context by that next phrase “equality with God.” It’s talking about His divine essence.
So it’s saying that even though He existed eternally as God, even though He existed eternally with the essence of God, despite that, He did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. So this statement here is a clear emphasis on His divine essence.
This is reinforced by many other passages.
Here’s one in Hebrews 1:3, “who being the brightness of His glory”—this is the Lord Jesus Christ, the effulgence, the outworking or almost like an explosion of light—“being the brightness of His glory and the express image”—it’s like the stamp of His character is the idea in the Greek—“of His person.”
You can’t state it anymore strongly that Jesus didn’t take on divinity. Jesus took on humanity. He was always God. He is the eternal Second Person of the Trinity, and this is affirmed in numerous passages.
Another couple are Colossians 1:17 and John 1:1. If you can just think of John 1, Colossians 1, and Hebrews 1, you can find the key verses on the deity of Christ.
Then this word “regard.” That is a word for thought. It’s found in various places.
For example, a passage we’ll be studying when we study handling adversity and dealing with suffering in 1 Peter 1, we’ll be going to James 1:2–4.
In James 1:2 it says, “Count it all joy.” It’s a word for thinking, to reason, to work your way through something, to evaluate something.
So it’s saying Jesus didn’t think, He didn’t consider when He added up all the data, He says it’s not worth holding onto My deity, asserting My deity. I have a mission to accomplish in terms of the plan of salvation.
So we could paraphrase this, “Who—in terms of the Lord Jesus Christ—although He eternally existed with identical essence to God, He did NOT think …” that deity was something to grab hold of, to assert.
But interesting question here: is this thinking part of His humanity or part of His Deity? I’ll let you think about that for just a second.
It’s before He became a man, so it’s part of His deity. As pure God before the incarnation, before the Hypostatic Union, Jesus, in His omniscience, thinks this through, of course instantly recognizing that it was worth everything for the salvation for human beings.
Then it goes on to say in Philippians 2:6 that He did not think that this “equality with God was something to be grasped.”
This is an interesting word. The word in the Greek as I put it up there is HARPAGMOS, which is a noun form of HARPAZO.
Think about that. HARPAZO is the word translated “rapture,” and it means to snatch or to grab something, to grab hold of something.
He doesn’t think that equality with God is something to be grabbed, something grasped. It has that idea of holding on to something or asserting yourself.
So He’s not asserting His deity. He’s willing to give up that which is His natural right as God to enter into human history, where He is going to be rejected, where He’s going to suffer, where He’s going to go through immeasurable, and indefinable, indescribable misery on the cross, so that you and I can be saved. That’s what’s going on here.
Slides 21, 22, 23
So we paraphrase this, “WHO—the Lord Jesus Christ—although He eternally existed with identical essence to God did NOT think EQUALITY WITH GOD WAS A CLAIM TO BE SELFISHLY GRASPED AFTER or a claim to be asserted.”
What happened in the Garden of Eden? Satan came along and said to Eve, “If you eat the fruit, you’re going to be like God.” And she grabbed for it. Jesus is God, and He doesn’t grab for it. He’s willing to relinquish His privileges as God in order to enter into human history and to suffer for us.
Slides 24, 25, 26, 27, 28
This is then defined in the next verse. He says, “but He emptied Himself.”
A lot of people have debated the meaning over this word “emptied,” but it’s clearly a contrast with what went on before, and it’s a word that is found in the Greek. It’s the word KENOO, and it’s often referred to as the KENOSIS problem. But He empties Himself, which some people say, “Well, that means He gave up His deity.”
Well, that’s not what it means. He never stopped being fully God. When Jesus is in the manger, and Jesus is there, and He’s just taking a little nap, He’s holding the universe together in His deity. Jesus never gave up being God. He never relinquished one bit of His divine power.
What happens in the Hypostatic Union, what happens in the incarnation, is Jesus is not going to use His deity to solve His problems living in the devil’s world. He’s going to enter into human history as man, and He’s going to face life just like you and I do to show that by depending exclusively on the power of God and the Word of God and the Spirit of God, He can handle whatever life throws at Him, whatever happens in the devil’s world.
So this word KENOO can mean to make it empty, but it can mean to divest yourself of a position. That’s the idea here. He’s saying, “I have a right to My omniscience, but I’m not going to use it. I have a right to assert who I am and what I am, but I’m not going to do it.”
If He did, He would have just blown everybody away. You see one tiny little glimpse of that. Y’all know where that is?
That’s in John, in the Gospel of John. I think it’s in John 19 when the soldiers of Herod and Pilate come to arrest Him, and there’s just this flash of His deity and BOOM! Everybody falls to the ground. He just knocks them down! They all get up and think, “What in the world just happened?” And Jesus says, “Okay, I’m yours. Take Me along with you.”
So that’s just it. He could have just totally destroyed them. They could have just vanished, lost their existence right there on the spot, but He doesn’t assert His authority. He is going to submit, as it were. So He empties Himself.
Now how does He do this? That’s really important because these next two lines “taking the form and being made” are participles that describe the means.
This is how He emptied Himself: He emptied Himself not by giving anything up, but by taking on humanity—“by receiving to Himself the form of a bond-servant”—that’s the idea of humanity.
It’s further identified in the next phrase, “by being made in the likeness of men.”
Again this is the idea. The verb here for being made is the word GINOMAI, which indicates that He’s going to become something He wasn’t before.
So He empties Himself by receiving the form of the servant. That’s the same word that’s used earlier, being in the form of God, the essence of God. Now He’s going to take on the essence of a servant.
So this refers to His immaterial nature as well as the next word “likeness” at the end refers to His physical nature.
He’s true humanity in terms of His physical body and in terms of His soul and spirit and makeup.
One of the early heresies in the early church was He had a human body, He had a human soul, but He had the divine spirit. Well that doesn’t really make Him fully God or fully man, and that heresy was rejected very early on.
So He takes on the form, that is the essence, of a bond-servant, and He is made in the likeness of men.
So what we see here is this contrast, though He existed in the essence of God—as I’ve paraphrased this—but He emptied Himself by receiving the essence of a bond-servant.
He divests Himself of the right to emphasize His deity. He doesn’t get rid of it, He’s still fully God.
That’s why you have these miracles such as changing the water into wine—to show that He’s still God. He walks on the water to show that He’s God. He’s in control of creation, and He’s made in the likeness of men.
That’s that verb GINOMAI, meaning coming into existence.
So He’s in the likeness of men, a word that emphasizes both the physical as well as the immaterial aspect of His being. So He empties Himself by taking on the form, the nature of the servant, and by coming into existence in the essence of man.
This is how he veils His glory. It’s still there, but it’s now veiled. As someone once said, it’s veiled by darksome clay. You just don’t see it, but all of a sudden He exposes it on the Mount of Transfiguration.
So this term Hypostatic Union—that I’ve used and briefly defined—refers to “the union of two natures: Divine and human, into one Person of Jesus Christ.”
He’s one Person. Whatever He does, one Person does it. He doesn’t have a humanity that does X and a deity that does Y. That’s a split personality. He’s one Person. One Person, Jesus Christ.
But you can say that because He changed the water into wine, that shows He’s fully God. When He thirsted, that shows that He’s fully man. When He was tired, when He was weary, when He hungered, that showed that He was fully man. When He walked on the water, that showed that He was God, and He had control over His creation.
So those things indicate the two natures that are there, but there’s one Person who does everything, and “these natures are inseparably united without loss or mixture of separate identity.”
So He doesn’t blend together. If He blended together, He wouldn’t be fully God and fully man. He would just be this mix of something that was not either. It would be a new entity.
“… without loss or transfer of properties or attributes,” so these attributes don’t leak on to the other side, and “the union is personal and eternal.” A lot of people don’t catch that.
It’s eternal. That means a billion years from now Jesus is still going to be in a resurrection human body with scars that will always be there. He will always be humanity. That is always going to be part of His makeup. So He is undiminished deity and true humanity united in one Person together.
Slides 33, 34, 35, 36, 37
So He’s “found in appearance as a man, and He humbles Himself.” I’m just going to skip through this for the sake of time. His appearance as a man indicates that He’s truly human again, and He humbles Himself. This is this word in the Greek [TAPEINOO] meaning He submits to authority. He’s not asserting His own rights.
That was a big deal in ancient Greece. You were a weenie and a wimp if you didn’t assert your own rights. You had to learn to be assertive. They majored in assertiveness training in Greece, but not the Bible.
The Bible says if you’re truly humble, you don’t assert yourself over against another, especially if they’re in authority. So He humbles Himself how? By being obedient to the point of the Cross.
See, humility is submitting to the appropriate authority when it’s time to submit to that authority. That’s what humility is. It recognizes your place in that authority chain.
“He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
So in Philippians 2:9 he says, “For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name.”
This is the glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ, but His glory comes after the Cross.
Philippians 2:10 and 11 say, “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, those in heaven and those on the earth and those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God.”
Glory comes later, but what happens in Matthew is that Jesus is going to give a preview of these coming attractions to His disciples, and it is something that they will never forget.
Peter will refer back to this in 2 Peter, that “we didn’t follow cunningly devised tales. We saw Him in His glory.” They were eye witnesses of that.
So the tag line that’s given at the end of Matthew 16, “that some of you will see the Son of Man coming in His glory,” is fulfilled just six days later when these three disciples see the unveiling of Jesus’ glory.
This is something they still don’t understand, as we’ll see when we come back to the passage and look at the rest of it next Sunday morning.
“Father, thank You for this opportunity to study Your Word, to be reminded that Jesus is who He claimed to be, that He is the promised and prophesied Messiah of the Old Testament, the One who would come to save us from our sins, who would die in our place. And Isaiah 53 said, He comes to make us righteous and to justify many.
It is by trusting in Jesus alone, that we have justification before You. Not on the basis of our works, but based on who Jesus Christ is. His righteousness becomes our righteousness.
Father, we pray that You would make this clear to anyone who is here this morning who is uncertain about their eternal destiny, perhaps confused, and You would make this sure and certain for them, that Jesus died on the Cross for your sins, and by trusting in Him and Him alone, you can have eternal life.
Father, we pray that You would challenge the rest of us, for we need to come to understand that future glorification is our glorification, and that we live today in light of that future glorification, in light of eternity.
And that we need to learn, as Jesus demonstrated, that He humbled Himself by obedience, we need to do the same thing if we are going to grow and mature in Christ, that we need to take up our cross daily. We need to be willing to submit to Your authority day in and day out, that You might mature us, because You don’t use babies to fulfill Your Plan. You use mature believers, and we need to grow to maturity.
We pray this in Christ’s Name. Amen.”