Sometimes it’s hard to see the true value of a person or of anything really if we allow the externals to distract us. This is why, I believe, we are told to “judge nothing by externals.” And why in the Old Testament story of the choosing of David to be Israel’s king, God told the prophet Samuel, “I do not look at things as man sees them. For man looks at the external. I look at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
It seems as though God made it abundantly certain that we would have to look hard to see Jesus in the flesh of Mary’s baby. The externals of “humanity” and the status of “humility” blocked our ability to truly see Jesus for Who He was in His eternal nature.
There are two words in the Philippians hymn of incarnation (Philippians 2:6-11) that help us to clarity this issue. The English language, while popular around the world, is actually not as rich and textured as the common Greek the in which the New Testament was written.
For instance, when the text tells us that Jesus, “though being in the form of (morphe) God.” That word “morphe” is where we find our English word “morph” or “morphology.” It means “the essence of something that never changes.” For instance, you are a human being. Your essential being, your “morph” is human. No matter how your outer person changes, your “morphe” never does.
Likewise when Jesus came to Earth as a baby in the incarnation, He still continued in His essential nature, His “morphe,” to be Deity. That was something about Jesus that never changed though His outer appearance did.
I have in my office a camel skin cane that was given to me as a gift from the mission field. It is intricately woven on the outside, and curved at the top. It is built around a cork/wood core. But what you can’t see by looking at it is the sharpened sword blade inside it. It was shaped by a craftsman for a Somali warlord. So the question I sometimes ask is, “Is this a cane or is this a sword?” Practically, it’s both cane and sword. But its creator determined what it was to be: a sword disguised as a cane to surprise and kill an enemy.
Jesus always was and continued to be God (and continues to BE God) in His eternal essence, His “morphe.” Is He what we can see, or really what we cannot? ________________________________________________________________________
“The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance but the Lord judges the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
FOR REFLECTION: Is there something you should repent of because you passed a judgement based on externals?