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Tuesday-On Top

 

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,

 

Philippians 2:9

 

Everyone wants to get to the top. To be first. Be in first place. It’s something inside of us where we want to be better than everyone. Smarter. Faster. More beautiful. More handsome. More talented. Richer. Have the bigger house. Faster car. Faster computer. Newest phone.

 

The funny thing about wanting to be on top is that it’s never just about ourselves. It’s always, always, always in comparison with someone else. It’s not that you’re smart by yourself, but you’re smart in comparison with someone else. It’s not that you can sing, but you can sing better than others.

 

You might be good in math. You might understand formulas and equations. You might have won a math competition at school. Everyone looked up to you because of your mathematical talents and abilities.

 

But then you leave your hometown and go away to college. All of a sudden you go from being on top to somewhere in the middle. Or lower. Why? What happened? You didn’t forget anything. None of your math skills got rusty. It’s that the pool of people that you were measured against just got a whole lot bigger.

 

The Son of God never experienced anything like this. Being God isn’t something that you work at. Something you grow into. Something you get better at. He’s been God for all eternity[1]. He never changes[2]. He’s received glory and given glory within himself forever. when it came to being God. Yes, he grew in wisdom and stature. Yes, he grew in favor with God and people[3].

 

But when Jesus came, he was introduced onto planet Earth as a servant. And that’s how he lived, as a servant. Jesus wasn’t interested in raising his number of friends on social media. He came to serve[4]. And what does a servant do? They constantly look out for those they serve. That’s why he came to seek and save the lost[5]. As a person, Jesus was humble. He took a lot of stuff from the jealous religious leaders of his day[6]. People from his town got all bent out of shape because of how he spoke and the miracles he performed[7]. He was called the suffering servant[8].

 

But God changed all that. God’s taken the name of Jesus and freely given it the highest place. The Father has lifted the name of Jesus to the absolute highest rank and power within the whole earth. There is no other name higher than the name of Jesus.

 

And how did God the Father do this? He didn’t just give Jesus a title or a name. No, God gave Jesus “the name.” This phrase, “the name,” was used to show that someone was different in their person. They were unique in comparison to everyone else.

 

But more than this, “the name” is a way of showing that Jesus was God. Jesus was God from before his birth. And as God, he’s deserving of all our worship. All our praise. All our service. All our everything.

 

So, God has lifted up the name of Jesus. Right? Well, if God’s lifted up the name of Jesus, how are we doing in that department? How are we elevating the name of Jesus in our life? And not just on Sunday morning. On a daily, consistent basis, how are we lifting up the name of Jesus, making him known to everyone we meet?

 

I think the answer to this most convicting question is very obvious. We’re doing an inconsistent job of it at best. At worst, we don’t even think about it during the day. It’s about the furthest thing from our minds.

 

Think about the people that just can’t stop talking about what’s important to them. It could be their children. Their grand kids. Their job. Their car. Their hobby. Their house. Their family background. Their wealth.

 

How do you know what’s important to them? Easy, they just can’t stop talking about it. They bore you to tears with picture after picture. They can recite the most minor details about some uninteresting event that happened months ago. They just can’t stop.

 

So, is that how you’re responding to God grace and mercy freely given through Jesus? Is this the single-most important relationship in your life? Is he the one who you just can’t stop thinking about? Talking about? And not by a little bit, but by a country mile.

 

If God gave Jesus “the name” that’s on top of every other name, shouldn’t we follow his lead? If you don’t think that Jesus deserves to be called “the name” that’s a different question. But if you claim that Jesus is your “the name,” then what’s holding you back? Why isn’t he on top of your life?

 

Noodling Questions

 

  • How badly do we want to be the best at what we do? To be recognized?

  • Why did God give Jesus the highest place and name ever?

  • Describe the distance between the exalted Jesus and us.


[1] Isaiah 40:28

[2] Malachi 3:6

[3] Luke 2:52

[4] Matthew 20:28

[5] Luke 19:10

[6] Matthew 27:18

[7] John 6:42

[8] Isaiah 53:3

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