The Form of A Servant

Philippians 2:5-7 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Here we see the second person or being of the Godhead being described as coming to this mortal world, not as the supreme being of the universe, but as one who humbly serves mankind as though He were just like those he comes to serve. How can we not see the irony of such an act?

The word "form" in verses six and seven in the original Greek is, morphe, which means the "external appearance." Those who have mistakenly taken the position that morphe must mean "the essential unchanging nature of a thing" find themselves in great trouble here. I would like for one of them to explain how a being can exchange one unchanging nature for another unchanging nature. This explains why some have said Jesus "emptied" by adding. I would also like to hear what the "unchanging nature" of a servant is. The passage does not say "the form of a man," but that of a servant. We know that angels are servants as well as men (Heb. 1:14). Furthermore, the nature of a man is not that of a servant exclusively, since not all men are servants (Luke 16:19, 20). It is apparent that morfev has to do with the appearance of a thing, not its essential nature.

Jesus did not come in the splendor and glory of the Word of God. Neither did He descend in the radiant light of an archangel. The Son of God did not come riding a charger at the head of an immense army as would King David. His birth was not attendant with the flourishes of trumpets and the chiming of bells. His entry to His capital was upon the foal of an ass. His appearance was ordinary and unbecoming. His hands were rough as a mason's and his feet were dusty and callused from walking everywhere He went. The measure of His life is summed up in these words, "The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28). Our Lord came in the role of a servant and never left that role during the extent of His sojourn upon the earth. He did not claim or demand what was rightfully His but suffered as a poor, homeless Jew.


Jesus did not use any of the powers, demand any of the privileges, or exercise any of the prerogatives of His divine status. He came as one under authority dependent upon His Father who sent Him (John 5:19, 30; 8:28).

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