Philippians 2:5-8 NIV In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
In the phrase "he made himself nothing " notice that is says that he, Jesus, "made himself", He didn’t get a memo. He wasn’t pushed out of heaven. He was fully engaged in God’s whole plan!
That phrase there, “made himself nothing,” is actually the basis for a lot of false teaching. Some translations rightly put it, “He emptied Himself.” Then the question becomes, emptied Himself of what? Some falsely suggest that Jesus emptied Himself of Deity and that He literally became a first-century Jewish man; that there was no God, just Jesus, the man. But the Bible teaches the Incarnation of Jesus, 100 percent God; 100 percent man, undiminished Deity dwelling in humanity.
Matthew 1:22-23 NIV All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). (Emphasis mine)
You may ask "of what did He empty Himself"?
Here are five things:
He emptied Himself of glory.
He gave up the adoration of the saints and angels when He came into this world.
John 17:4-5 NIV I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
He emptied Himself of independent authority.
John 5:30 NIV By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.
Jesus said, “By myself I can do nothing” He brought Himself into a different relationship with the Father, where ALL of His activities and actions had to be cleared in that unusual way. Though equal with the Father, now uniquely submissive to Him.
He released the voluntary exercise of His divine attributes.
Jesus sometimes was omniscient and sometimes not.
John 1:47-48 NIV When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
This passage shows that Jesus was omniscient. He knows everything.
Matthew 24:33-36 NIV Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
He gave up eternal riches.
Imagine for a moment the treatment that the Son of God, the King of the universe, gets in heaven. Yet…"though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”
2 Corinthians 8:9 NIV For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
He gave up His intimate relationship with the Father.
Who can describe the fellowship that exists between the first and second Person of the Trinity? And to hear Jesus on the cross shouting, “My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
Matthew 27:45-46 NIV From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
When Jesus walked among us, He didn’t empty Himself of His divine attributes, but He did accept the limitations of "humanomniscience" (my new word)
We know from Scripture that Jesus was tired.
On one occasion, as He came to the city of Samaria, the Bible tells us that He was weary. He had been walking all day, probably in the scorching heat of Israel.
John 4:6 NIV Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
It would have been for Jesus to have said to His disciples, “You go ahead. I’ll meet you there.” Then He could have simply appeared in Samaria. After all, He was God. Why tire yourself out like that?
Yet Jesus voluntarily went through the process of feeling what it was like to be tired and exhausted.
We also know that Jesus felt hunger.
Matthew 4:1-4 NIV Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Emphasis mine)
The Bible also tells us that He experienced physical thirst.
The very God who created water, who could speak to a rock and cause water to gush out, experienced thirst.
John 19:28-30 NIV Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (Emphasis mine)
The Bible tells us that Jesus understands what we go through because He went through the same types of things, we go through but unlike us He never sinned.
Hebrews 4:14-16 NIV Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Emphasis mine)
We have a God who knows what it’s like to walk in our shoes. He knows what we’re going through.