“Who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God”
In the previous post, we studied the first phrase, “who, being in the form of God,” and saw that this means Jesus was equal with God in deity. Now we come to the last phrase.
Our Lord’s incarnation commenced at the highest level—His deity. It was no big admission for Him to consider Himself equal with God because He was God.
“did not consider it robbery to be equal with God”
We see Jesus’ thought pattern in the word “consider.” This was His thinking about becoming man and dying for the sins of the world. It was natural for Him to think of Himself as co-equal with the trinity. In eternity past, before creation, He thought about what He would do about salvation. Remember, verse 5: “Let this mind be in you.”
The first thing that Jesus thought was that it was not “robbery to be equal with God.” “To be” means state of being. In the present tense, this means eternal existence. He was eternally conscious of His existence with the trinity.
The word “robbery” means the object of violent seizure, something to be eagerly seized. Jesus did not look upon equality with God as a treasure to find. He already possessed that treasure. From timeless eternity, He always was God; why should He seek deity?
However, He was willing to step foot in a human body and set aside the voluntary use of His glory, His deity. He did not stop being God, for eternal life cannot stop, or cease. He set aside the use of His essence of God because of His mission. He was willing to step into a human body, a great humiliation for eternal God.
Jesus considered our soul of more excellent value than the humility of taking on humanity. Deity could not die on the cross—only His humanity. Eternal life cannot die, for it is not temporal.
“Equal” in “to be equal with God” means the same as. He was the same as God. He was undiminished in that equality.
In eternity past, Jesus had a thought pattern to disengage from the voluntary use of the glory of His deity to become a man.
If Jesus valued the sacrifice of humility for the sake of others as a value that transcended His own interests, should we not do the same?