The Glory and Humility of Christ – Part 3 (Philippians 2:10-11)
so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.—Philippians 2:10-11
Jesus is Yahweh. To see just how breathtaking this statement really is, we must understand what Paul has in mind here. He is quoting the LORD speaking through the Prophet Isaiah:
“Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall not return: ‘To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.’* Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; to him shall come and be ashamed all who were incensed against him. In the LORD all the offspring of Israel shall be justified and shall glory” (Isaiah 45:22-25).
(*In the Septuagint, the Greek Old Testament Paul knew, this is translated “…every tongue confess to God.”)
Whenever the name LORD is printed in caps in this English translation English Standard Version (ESV), it means the name Yahweh. For ancient Jews (and conservative modern ones), Yahweh was the Name of names; so sacred that they would not speak it nor would they write it in full (they abbreviated it YHWH). Yahweh was the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 45:11).
Paul Knew What He Was Saying
As a Pharisee (Acts 23:6), Paul knew this text very well. He knew exactly what he was saying: Jesus of Nazareth is Yahweh. Pause and feel the weight of that statement. Paul once approved of the execution of those who claimed such things (Acts 8:1). He would one day die for proclaiming it.
Today, as in Paul’s day, the world hates Jesus and those who proclaim him LORD (John 15:19). We are not to be surprised (1 John 3:13). Rather we are to take heart, for Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33), and in him so shall we (1 John 5:5). And the day is coming when every knee will bow and every tongue confess it with us.
Boldly Confess Jesus Christ
So in awe and wonder, with bowed knees, and joy-filled hearts, let us join Paul and boldly confess that Jesus Christ is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Exodus 3:15); the LORD of hosts (Isaiah 47:4); the only God (John 1:18); the true Bread from Heaven (John 6:41); the Light of the world (John 8:12); the Way and the Truth (John 14:6); the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25); the Savior of the world (John 4:42); the King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16)!
Take time this week to look up the many passages referenced throughout, and as you read, may your heart worship the LORD.