By Elizabeth Prata
Barnes’ Notes explains the ’emptying’
The word does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament, except in the passage before us. The essential idea is that of bringing to emptiness, vanity, or nothingness; and, hence, it is applied to a case where one lays aside his rank and dignity, and becomes in respect to that as nothing; that is, he assumes a more humble rank and station.
In regard to its meaning here, we may remark:
(1) that it cannot mean that he literally divested himself of his divine nature and perfections, for that was impossible. He could not cease to be omnipotent, and omnipresent, and most holy, and true, and good.
(2) it is conceivable that he might have laid aside, for a time, the symbols or the manifestation of his glory, or that the outward expressions of his majesty in heaven might have been withdrawn. It is conceivable for a divine being to intermit the exercise of his almighty power, since it cannot be supposed that God is always exerting his power to the utmost. And in like manner there might be for a time a laying aside or intermitting of these manifestations or symbols, which were expressive of the divine glory and perfections. Yet,
(3) this supposes no change in the divine nature, or in the essential glory of the divine perfections. When the sun is obscured by a cloud, or in an eclipse, there is no real change of its glory, nor are his beams extinguished, nor is the sun himself in any measure changed. His luster is only for a time obscured.
GTY Study Guide: Christ humbled, Christ exalted
The Greek verb translated “emptied” (keno[ma]o) is where we get the theological term kenosis: the doctrine of Christ’s self-emptying as a part of His incarnation. The verb expresses Christ’s self-renunciation, His refusal to cling to His advantages and privileges as God. The God who has a right to everything and who is fully satisfied within Himself emptied Himself.
GotQuestions: What is the Kenosis?
Notice that Philippians 2:7 does not specify what the Son of God “emptied” Himself of. And here we must be careful not to go beyond what Scripture says. Jesus did not empty Himself of His divine attributes—no such attributes are mentioned in the verse, and it is obvious in the gospels that Jesus possessed the power and wisdom of God. Calming the storm is just one display of Jesus’ divine power (Mark 4:39). In coming to earth, the Son of God did not cease to be God, and He did not become a “lesser god.” Whatever the “emptying” entailed, Jesus remained fully God: “in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9).
Thirty Days of Jesus Series-
Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive
Day 2: A shoot from Jesse
Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time
Day 4: Marry her, she will bear a Son
Birth & Early Life-
Day 5: The Babe has arrived!
Day 6: The Glory of Jesus
Day 7: Magi seek the Child
Day 8: The Magi Offer gifts & worship
Day 9: The Child Grew
Day 10- the Boy Jesus at the Temple
Day 11: He was Obedient
Day 12: The Son!
Day 13: God is Pleased with His Son
The Second Person of the Trinity-
Day 14: Propitiation
Day 15: The Gift of Eternal Life
Day 16: Kingdom of Darkness to Light
Day 17: Jesus’ Preeminence
Day 18: The Highest King
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