TWO FOR ONE (Concepts: Jesus As Nothing & Jesus' Foresight)

Philippians 2:6-8
"Christ Jesus:  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!"

Today I received a fresh new appreciation for the phrase "made himself nothing".  The Holy Spirit was administering His understanding to me through this verse and it was powerful, awesome, and important.  So, I thought I would share and I hope we are the better for it.

When I read the word "nothing" and processed it within the context, the Holy Spirit went to work on my heart, mind, and spirit.  I saw the human race as "nothing".  Disobedience, rebellion, or Sin has reduced humanity to "nothing".  This state of existence we are born into is a eternally damned future before Christ comes into the picture.  Our relationship with God was eternally separated.

But God......."so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that Whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:16

Anytime the old question of - why did God do it? - comes around, I remind myself and others because "He so loved"!  And "He so loved the world" so much that when Father God sent His one and only Son into the world, the Son - also known as The Word of God - "made himself nothing"!  He who is perfect became "nothing".  

The original Greek word for the phrase "made himself nothing" is Kenoo (from Kenos).  The Logos or Word of God emptied Himself before becoming Jesus.  That means Jesus was totally dependent on His Father and His leading by the Holy Spirit while He was on the earth.  "Jesus gave them this answer: 'I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.'" - John 5:19  

According to a recent study I have done, it seems the foresight of Jesus was at times supernatural and at other times situational.  The times it was situational could be determined by Christ's state of knowing (i.e. - "knew their thoughts"-Matthew 9:4, "aware of..."-Matthew 12:15; 16:8, "knowing their evil intent"-Matthew 22:18, "aware of this"-Matthew 26:10, "knew in His spirit"-Mark 2:8, "aware of their discussion"-Mark 8:17, "knew their hypocrisy"-Mark 12:15, "knew what they were thinking"-Luke 5:22) and what was said prior to Christ's comments to give us an indication of the circumstances.  For example, knowing how much emphasis the Pharisees placed on obeying the Law about keeping the Sabbath, Jesus teaches one lesson among many, about doing good works for the kingdom on the Sabbath, even healing someone.  But what did Jesus receive - rejection and the plotting of his death, which Jesus then took as His cue to "withdraw from that place" because He was "Aware of this" (Matthew 12:9-16).  Another instance is in Matthew 22:15-17,18 - when the Pharisees buttered up Jesus only to attempt to trap Him with a questions about paying taxes to Caesar.  "But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?" (v.18)  With the culture and situational awareness of the times and people, it would not be that hard to discern the Pharisee's intent (assuming you had a decent moral core, on the lines of the Centurion Jesus spoke about in Matthew 8:5-13).

Matthew and Luke contain examples of the times when Christ displayed supernatural foresight.  Jesus' immediate showing of this power to His disciples came when He foresaw His betrayal (Matt. 26:20).  When He prophesied the scattering of the flock (Matt. 26:31).  When He foretold Peter's denial (Matt. 26:34).  And when He told Caiaphas about His future glorious coming on the clouds (Matt. 26:64).  Luke gets in on the action by stating, "When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch."  Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."  When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.  So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.  When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!"  For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon's partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men."  So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.So the foresight here is implied.  Jesus knew what was about to happen so He gave the order to “put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Supernatural.  Knowledge from Father God through the Holy Spirit.  Another Scripture that undeniably showcases a time when Jesus was given supernatural foresight is Matthew 24.  The majority of this chapter speaks to events that are happening and are still future for us today.  One of the things Jesus mentioned that has already occurred, Matthew records in the first two verses - "Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings.  "Do you see all these things?" he asked. "I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."  This was fulfilled in 70 A.D. with the Roman invasion of Jerusalem.

Another way to observe Jesus, The Word of God, in His emptied form or state is to examine the questions He asks, just like any one of us, in the book of Mark.  "What do you want me to do for you?" - Mk. 10:51  "How long has he been like this?" - Mk. 9:21  "What are you arguing with them about?" - Mk. 9:16  These and questions in general are limited in nature and are Not needed if total foresight, 24/7, all year long, is available to Jesus.  Some may say that these questions were redundant for Him and meant for our benefit, but I disagree because it would not line up with The Word of God emptying Himself and becoming Jesus - still the Son of God, but now in flesh and with divine glories and privileges laid down.

In addition, Jesus only performed miracles and moved with the power of the Holy Spirit when conditions for the Holy Spirit to move where right.  Luke 5:17b – “And the power of the Lord was present for Him to heal the sick.”  - Which means “the power of the Lord” was NOT present at other times to heal the sick.  God’s presence is everywhere.  That is not what is in view here.  However, what is in view is the healing or any other operation of the Holy Spirit through Jesus due to some other factor(s) or lack thereof.  For example, the lack of faith and the power of prayer were spiritual conditions which influenced the operation of the Holy Spirit in Jesus.  Consider and observe Matthew13:58 – “And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.  AND Mark 9:29 - He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer."  Again, we see Jesus totally human and totally God’s Son, but with divine glories or privileges laid down and totally dependent upon the leading of His Father and the presence of the Holy Spirit to work through Him – Christ Jesus:  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!

And so we come full circle.  What is the application for us?  I am glad I asked that for us so I can answer it for us too.  Jesus, being the Christian's ultimate example, emptied Himself SO THAT He carried out the perfect plan for His life - The Father's Will for all of us, the salvation of humankind and the redemption of creation!  Jesus has taken care of everything.  He has supplied what was needed for our healing, salvation, and above and beyond what we could ever hope or dream about.  However, IF we, as believers, could but strive to empty ourselves daily (because our "temple/house" gets so cluttered with "stuff") So That Father God can use the Holy Spirit within each of us to accomplish His plan for our lives - oh! the wonders and miracles we would see!