Spring break edition. I’m taking a break for a few days. During that time, I’ll be giving you a sampling of the Q&A that you’ll find in leader’s guides for the Casual English Bible. In the guides, I provide discussion questions along with info Bible study leaders can use to help the group talk about the question. Here’s one question from the leader’s guide for Philippians.
QUESTION. Paul told the people of Philippi to think like Jesus. Then he illustrated this, in Philippians 2:6-11, perhaps by quoting an early Christian song or a poem about Jesus. Whether Paul wrote these lyrics himself or quoted them, what one line or thought do you think stands out most as the best example of what Paul meant?
He was God in every way
But he didn’t hoard his equality with God.
He gave it up to become a servant.
He traded the image of God for the image of a man.
He humbled himself.
Obeying God, he humbled himself to death—the most shameful death of all: crucifixion.
That’s why God honors him most of all,
And has written his name at the top of all names.
At the very mention of the name “Jesus,”
Everyone in heaven, on earth, and underground should take a knee and bow.
Every soul with a tongue should admit it out loud
As an expression of gratitude to God the Father: Jesus Christ is Lord.
Philippians 2:6-11, Casual English Bible
ANSWER. One contender: “He humbled himself. Obeying God, he humbled himself to death—the most shameful death of all: crucifixion” (2:8). That’s quite the reversal, the Son of God hanging on a cross in an execution reserved for the worst offenders. Jesus stooped that low, becoming so humble that it humiliated and shamed him. He did it to help. Paul was saying Christians should be willing to do the same. Sometimes when we need to lift someone up, we have to first get on our knees.