Study on the Deity of Christ (#2)

King Nebuchadnezzar’s Humiliation Illustrates Christ’s Humiliation

Mayroon tayong pagaaral ukol sa kalagayan ng ating Panginoong Jesus. May isang kaisipan na ang terminong “ekenosen” sa Griegong Biblia (emptied himself sa Authorized Version – Filipos 2:7)ay ibig sabihin na mula sa taong 1 A.D. noong ipinanganak ang Panginoong Jesus sa Bethlehem hanggang 33 A.D. sa kruz, itinabi o inalis raw ni Cristo ang kanyang pagka-Dios.

Sa unang serye, ng pagaaral na ito we quoted Vine’s Expository Dictionar of Old & New Testament Words which says that the word “ekenosen” does not mean that Christ emptied himself of His Godhood. Hindi raw inalis ni Cristo ang kanyang pagka-Dios. This is the witness of a recognized NT Greek language authority who knows the Greek Bible. I would be interested to know if there’s any NT Greek scholar who testifies that the word “ekenosen” means that Christ emptied himself of his Godhood.

We also submitted a historical view for the past 2000 years about the person of Christ. The idea that Christ had no deity, no divinity during his earthly sojourn is not new.

In this second series of the current study and quoting from the NKJV, I would like to submit Daniel 4:1-37. Think of the glory, majesty, wealth, despotic authority of a king in that time of the Babylonian Empire, military authority, how a king was considered a god, the pomposity of the of the royal palace, the king’s authority over people’s lives, how people prostrated bowing themselves down having the forehead touch the ground.

Daniel’s text describes King Nebuchadnezzar as “a strong tree whose height reached the heavens and could be seen from all corners of the earth with lovely leaves and abundant fruits providing food and shade for all beast of the fields, and where birds find build their nests” (4:1-13). Have a picture of the palace where the king dwelt and consider his mighty power and honor and majesty (4:30). The prophet Isaiah adds his description of the Babylonian King in Isaiah 14:3-7 as an “oppressor, mighty, golden, with a scepter or authority, ruler of nations, ambitious thoughts to be in the high heavens, above the stars or above rulers who are appointed by God, and wanting to be like the Most High.”  Isaiah 13:19 describes Babylon as the “glory of kingdoms, beautiful and pride of the Chaldeans.”

The Book of Revelation (18-9-20)pictures Babylon as one who lives luxuriously, great, mighty city, wealthy, a commercial center of dealers of gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, human slaves and silk.

Habang nagmumuni-muni si Haring Nebuchadnezzar ukol sa kanyang kapangyarihan, kagandahan, kayamanan, kakayahan, kataastaasan at kayabangan, he was suddenly changed by the power of the Most High God. The picture of the King is now this: tree chopped down, stump and roots bound with iron chains, heart of a beast, driven out from the company of men and dwelt with beasts in the field, wet with dew, ate grass like oxen, hair grown like eagle’s feathers, nails like birds’ claws. (Daniel 4:32-33)

There’s a great change! A glorious, majestic, mighty and authoritative despotic king, living in a pompous royal palace, wealthy, and a god suddenly  BECOMES a taong grasa na mayroong dementia with some body parts displaying beastly growth, even his appetite became that of an ox.  But he was still human. Tao pa rin si Haring Nebuchanezzar. Hindi naalis ang kanyang pagkatao.

One-eared, one-armed, one-eyed, cleft-lips, one-legged, deaf person remains human. Even if that person becomes crazy, he remains human. No one can remove his humanity. Even a demon possessed person remains human. If this is the case of a human person, it should also be the case of angels. Angels may have demeaned themselves by their rebellion against God and became demons, still they remained angels in their kalikasang kalagayan.

This is also true with Christ. He became lower than the angels, he took the form of flesh and lived among humans. His life station was not the level of the wealthy and of the royal family, not the middle class, not the ordinary lower class of society but a BONDSERVANT(Phil.2:7).  His level was that of a merchandised slave. Yaong naibebentang alipin. He was human but society treated him as a work animal. A work animal could be whipped as a hardheaded carabao, could be hacked like a carabao by the owner, could be put to death like a carabao. But the carabao remains by nature a kalabaw. No one could remove his carabaohood.

Christ took the form of flesh on the level of human; he was human, he was a man. But his original essence, original nature, original substance, ang kanyang likas na kalagayan, ang kanyang pagka-Dios ay hindi nawala.

Lucifer and other angels didn’t keep their original habitation but they remained in their original essence or likas na kalagayan. Ang pagka-anghel ay hindi nawala. A pompous human king like Nebuchanezzar became demented but he retained his original essence or likas na kalagayan. Ang pagka-tao ay hindi nawala. Christ who is originally God in substance took the form of a lower level existence but his natural essence remained. He was completely God and also completely human. The presence of two natures in one person may be difficult to grasp. It is as difficult as grasping the reality of the Trinity. It is a mystery (1Tim.3:16) but it is the reality.

Any comment or observation is most welcomed.

By Eusebio Tanicala, PhD