The Way of Weakness
I dwell in the high and holy place, but also with the contrite and lowly in spirit. Isaish 57:15
Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant. Philippians 2: 6
The whole concept of the incarnation is the process of giving up power and becoming weak. The greatest of men and women are the ones that can take time to kneel down and play with children. The measure of a man is how he treats those who have nothing to give him.
The Greek word kenosis is translated here emptied himself. When we empty something, if it is half full, then it is not emptied. Of what did Jesus empty himselff? Jesus emptied himself of his Omnipresence, his Omniscience, and his Omnipotence.
Omnipresence means that God can be more than one place at a time. We say: “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless.” Jesus when he was on the earth for 33 years was limited like you and I, only being able to be one place at a time.
Omniscience means that God knows all things. There is no limit to his knowledge. Hebrews 2:17 says that “he had to be made like his brethren in every respect.” I believe that Jesus (while on earth) had limitations like you and I have limitations. I think Jesus thought that the world was flat because everyone else thought the world was flat. This kenosis (emptying) did not keep him from being God while he was walking the earth, but God with limitations. Phillip Yancy writes, “What changed history was the disciples’ dawning awareness that God himself had chosen the way of weakness. The cross redefines God as One who was willing to relinquish power for the sake of love.” The Jesus I Never Knew
If you have trouble with God coming in weakness, and having limitations in the form of Jesus, then you are really going to be knocked out by my next post. God dies. I will blog about Omnipotence in that next post too.