But made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
I. ITS CHARACTERISTICS.
1. Produced by the Spirit. He was tempted and overcame by the Holy Ghost.
2. Perfectly human, or it would be no example to us.
3. Progressive. "Though He were a Son," etc. It grew with the growth of obligations.
4. Active and passive.
II. ITS NATURE.
1. He obeyed the law. "Thy law is within my heart" was the language of His whole life.
(1) As an antitype He fulfilled the whole law of sacrifice.
(2) As a devout Jew, He fulfilled the whole ceremonial law.
(3) As citizen of the world He fulfilled the political law by paying taxes.
(4) As a man, He fulfilled the whole moral law.
(5) As a child of God He fulfilled the spiritual law.
2. Christ was always obeying inward principle. His outward life was the reflection of His sense of duty. How often was "I must" upon His lips.
3. Christ always set His life to the meridian of Scripture — "It is written."
4. He was the most obedient of Sons to His heavenly Father — "I can of Myself do nothing."
III. THE HARMONIOUS ADJUSTMENT OF ITS TWO-FOLD OBLIGATIONS.
1. As a child He was subject to His mother — but if interfered with in His work there were the "Woman; what have I to do with thee?" or "Who is My mother?"
2. As a subject of the state He pays the tribute at the same moment that He asserts His claim and privilege as the Son of God. "Render unto Caesar," etc.
IV. ITS DEVELOPMENT.
1. As an infant He was obedient to circumcision.
2. His childhood and early manhood were subject to parental authority.
3. At thirty His argument for baptism is "Thus it becometh us," etc.
4. In obedience to the Holy Ghost He goes into the desert and conquers by "It is written," etc.
5. The yoke He imposes on His disciples is His own — obedience.
6. He is Lord of the Sabbath, but obeys the Sabbath.
7. The Transfiguration speaks of Sonship and service.
8. His death was the completion of His life of obedience.
(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: