from The Glory of Christ (Grand Rapids: Sovereign Grace, 1971), 325.

“How glorious, then, is the condescension of the Son of God in his susception of the office of mediation! For is such be the perfection of the divine nature, and its distance so absolutely infinite from the whole creation,–and if such be his self-sufficiency unto his own eternal blessedness, as that nothing can be taken from him, nothing added unto him, so that every regard in him unto any of the creatures is an act of self-humiliation and condescension from the prerogative of his being and state,–what heart can conceive, what tongue can express, the glory of that condescension in the Son of God, whereby he took our nature upon him, took it to be his own, in order unto a discharge of the office of mediation on our behalf?”

I came across these lines recently while preparing a sermon. I wonder if we (I) struggle to really grasp the profundity of the condescension of Jesus. I think that part of our problem has to do with our American equalitarianism, the belief that all persons are equal. This is so pervasive in our society that we begin to suppose, I think, that God is our equal, or much more so than He actually is. The condescension does not end up being that great; “in fact,” we muse to ourselves, “why wouldn’t Jesus want to come down and save us?” We have become big and God has become small. Oh, how imperative it is for our moral imagination to capture the idea of the greatness of God, and then to marvel at the profound condescension of Jesus Christ.

Phil 2:6-11

ος εν μορφη θεου υπαρχων

ουχ αρπαγμον ηγησατο

το ειναι ισα θεω
αλλ εαυτον εκενωσεν

μορφην δουλου λαβων

εν ομοιωματι ανθρωπων γενομενος
και σχηματι ευρεθεις ως ανθρωπος

εταπεινωσεν εαυτον

γενομενος υπηκοος μεχρι θανατου

θανατου δε σταυρου
διο και ο θεος αυτον υπερυψωσεν

και εχαρισατο αυτω ονομα

το υπερ παν ονομα
ινα εν τω ονοματι ιησου

παν γονυ καμψη

επουρανιων και επιγειων και καταχθονιων

και πασα γλωσσα εξομολογησηται οτι

κυριος ιησους χριστος

εις δοξαν θεου πατρος