But made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
1. As soon as the Saviour had resolved to take upon Him the form of a servant, it followed that He should be "made in the likeness of men." Fallen man is the most servile thing in God's universe — a bond slave of Satan, "Sold under sin" — the servant of uncleanness. His passions are his masters, his fears his chains, death his cruel tyrant.
2. We must be careful not to suffer our conviction of the Deity of Christ to weaken our apprehension of His perfect manhood. For if Christ be not absolutely a man, if His divinity come in, in the least degree, to qualify His humanity, then He practically ceases to be an example, and, indeed, a substitute.
I. IT WAS NOT THE BODY OF CHRIST ONLY WHICH WAS HUMAN WHILE HIS SOUL WAS DIVINE, BUT THAT SOUL AND BODY WERE EQUALLY IN THE LIKENESS OF MEN.
1. His bodily presence stood forth always visibly and palpably a man. In the likeness of the infant He lay in the manger, of the boy He sat in the temple, of the man He walked the length and breadth of the land. The labouring man has the privilege of resemblance, for it is not unlikely that He worked at His father's trade. Rest and clothes and food and warmth He needed like us.
2. Let us trace on the likeness into His spiritual being.
(1) It is a law of the mind that it grows. Jesus "grew in wisdom."(2) That we are conscious of joy and sorrow. Once Christ rejoiced in Spirit, and twice shed tears.
(3) That we must lean on some one, our God and our friend. So did Jesus.
(4) That we should be tempted. He imitated us in His conflict with the prince of darkness.
(5) In deep thoughts he had the counterpart of ours, the shrinking back of the obedient and willing spirit as it recoils from nature's throes.
(6) He was utterly blameless; yet He knew sin by experience, for He bore it.
II. THE MANHOOD CHRIST ASSUMED IS FULL OF THE DEEPEST COMFORT TO HIS CHURCH.
1. All the nature of our race was gathered and concentrated into that one human life. He stood forth as the great representative man.
2. Thus it was that Christ went down to His grave, and when He rose and was glorified the great representative principle went on. He is not the solitary conqueror entered into His rest; but the forerunner and earnest of His saints. He holds ground for us till, in due time, we shall come.
3. And so long as the needful processes of the preparation go on He there lives, and intercedes, and rules, and wears the very form in which He suffered. How certain, then, His sympathy.
III. THEREFORE REVERENCE MANHOOD. Respect a body which has such fellowships; be tender to the corporeal wants of the members of the body of Christ.
(J. Vaughan, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: