“God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9).
Christ is exalted as Prophet, Priest, and King.
Jesus’ exaltation was the reversal of His humble incarnation. He who was poor became rich; He who was rejected became accepted; He who had learned obedience returned to a position of power that calls all others to obey Him. Commentator William Hendricksen wrote, “As king, having by his death, resurrection, and ascension achieved and displayed his triumph over his enemies, he now holds in his hands the reins of the universe, and rules all things in the interest of his church (Eph. 1:22-23). As prophet he through his Spirit leads his own in all the truth. And as priest (Highpriest according to the order of Melchizedek) he, on the basis of his accomplished atonement, not only intercedes but actually lives forever to make intercession for those who “draw near to God through him.” And God was the source of Jesus’ exaltation.
In Philippians 2:9 the apostle Paul says that God “bestowed on Him the name.” The Greek word translated “bestowed” means “to give graciously” or “wholeheartedly.” Christ so fully and completely accomplished God’s plan of redemption that God wholeheartedly and graciously poured out on Christ the gifts of exaltation. Though He could not be made more than God, He now enjoys all the privileges of God as well as all the privileges of the God-man, which He now is.
Puritan minister Thomas Watson wrote in his Body of Divinity, “Christ’s exaltation is our exaltation. . . . As sure as Christ is exalted far above all heavens, so sure will he instate believers in all that glory with which his human nature is adorned. John xvii 22.” Be encouraged, for one day Christ will also exalt you!
Suggestions for Prayer
First Corinthians 15:24-26 shows that God has exalted Christ as Sovereign over everything. In keeping with that theme, use Psalm 99 as the basis of your own prayer to praise Christ as Ruler over all.
For Further Study
- According to Romans 14:9, why did Christ humble Himself?
- What has the Father given to the Son as part of His exaltation (John 5:22)?
From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.