home > Pastor’s Desk > 2023 > November 3rd > THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST, Chapter 6 – The deGlorified Newborn The reGlorified Lamb of God


There are cases of “mistaken” identity but there are cases of concealed identity. Novelists, including Mark Twain who has given us such examples of powerful people who disguised themselves to fit in with “common” people unnoticed in his The Prince and the Pauper. In more recent times, Peter Lenkov and Eric Guggenheim gave the world the story of a world-famous and now very wealthy novelist, Robin Masters, who had never been seen in public. He had apparently hired a butler, named Higgins, to look after his luxury Hawaiian holiday house and estate, “Robin’s Nest”. Masters struck a deal with a former Navy Seal, turned Private Detective, Thomas Magnum, to be his unpaid security consultant. Magnum was given accommodation and use of Masters’ Ferrari in exchange for anecdotes from his time as a ’Seal for the author to draw on his upcoming novels. (This was why Magnum had to continue working as a Private Detective). Higgins was personally acquainted with the mysterious novelist, but Magnum had never met or even seen him. Higgins and Magnum struck up a friendship as they went about solving crimes. After years of friendship it was revealed that Robin Masters was none other than Higgins himself.

One of my favourite stories of concealed identity hiding in plain sight is from Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel, Les Miserables, where the escaped convict, Jean Valjean, is pursued for years by now retired Inspector Javert. As it turns out Jean Valjean, who had changed his name to M. Madeleine has now become a successful business man and the Mayor of Toulon. Javert arrives in Toulon and is immediately recognised by Valjean. But Javert does not recognise the now clean-shaven, genteel aristocratic Mayor of Toulon as his nemesis. But when he observes the compassion of M. Madeleine he recalls the time in prison when Jean Valjean had also displayed a similar extraordinary compassion for unfortunate fellow prisoners. The more he observed such acts of kindness and generosity from M. Madeleine the more Javert became convinced of the true identity of Madeleine. There is something about this idea of concealed identity that comes from the story of Christ. The prophet Isaiah foretold that when the Servant of the LORD would appear He would be largely unrecognised – there would be no form, no beauty, that we would desire Him (Isa. 53:2). But how on earth was this possible? How in God’s Name  could those who were created by Him in His image not recognise Him for who He was? The answer to this great puzzle lies in one word: the kenosis.



Theologians refer to this profound mystery about Christ as the kenosis. This is from the original Greek word, translated from Philippians 2:7, which describes Christ emptying Himself. But ‘emptied Himself’ of what? Did He empty Himself of His deity? Did He empty Himself of His divine attributes (omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence)? Did He empty Himself of His divine prerogatives (to receive worship, to forgive sins, to exercise judgment)? Whatever it was, the apostle Paul tells us the result of this mysterious emptying: it resulted in Christ humbling Himself as a result; and, although it would appear to be the case that He was humiliated, Paul is careful to state that this was not the case. The apostle wants his readers to consider that the eternal Son of GOD humbled Himself in order to accomplish our salvation. Then he is equally emphatic that this was only a temporary emptying. As a result of Christ’s kenosis (emptying) GOD the Father then “exalted Him”:

Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:9-11



In a moment I am going to make a bold claim about what it was that Christ emptied Himself of. If you, like me, are on a quest to know Jesus, then you must understand this about our Lord. The inevitable result of this new knowledge that I am about share with you is that it will lead to a change in our attitude. In fact, the very reason that Paul raised this insight in the first place was because there was an attitude that needed to be addressed. There had been a growing friction within the Philippian church which was caused by someone’s hurt pride. Paul introduces this profound revelation about Christ with:

Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love,
being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit,
but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 2:2-5

A part of Paul’s argument about Christ emptying Himself is that even though Jesus was God in the flesh, with all of the rights, privileges, and powers of the Almighty GOD, He humbled Himself and became as a servant of others. Jesus embraced an attitude of overlooking offence, forgiving those who wronged Him, and even though He had the right to condemn whomever He chose – He chose not to. As we read on in Paul’s epistle to the Philippians we discover who it was that Paul was specifically appealing to (Phil. 4:2) but the principle that he shared still applies to us today.

In making his case infinitely stronger Paul spent time shedding light on who this Christ was and how He so dramatically humbled Himself. In doing this, Paul also revealed what it was that Christ had emptied Himself of. By becoming a human being, Christ laid aside – not His deity – but His visible glory. 



Even though John 1:1 commences with the words, In the beginning, it actually begins before there was time, or to put it another way: John 1:1 begins before Genesis 1:1. And before there was even “time” (which began with the words uttered in Genesis 1:3) there was the triune GOD in all His glory including the Second Person of the Trinity (See Jude 25; Christ’s inference from John17:5; and Peter’s statement about God’s “eternal glory” in 1Pet. 5:10). That is, before Christ created the universe into which He would one day enter as a divine human being, He was the Lord of Glory. In writing to the Corinthians some time before He wrote to the Philippians, the apostle Paul described the incarnate (“in the flesh”) Jesus as “the Lord of glory” :  

None of the rulers of this age understood this,
for if they had,
they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
First Corinthians 2:8

But how was it possible for those who saw the Christ that they did not recognise the most glorious Person in the universe? It is as though the One they had been longing millennia for was actually ‘hiding in plain sight’ but not just plain sight – very, very, public sight! Yet no-one, except for demons and devils, could recognise Him (Luke 4:34)! Again, it seems that what Jesus emptied Himself of was the visibility of His glory!

To be clear, I am not suggesting that the apostle Paul was suggesting that the incarnate Christ ceased to be glorious. As C.S. Lewis wrote in his fictitious Letter To Malcolm it’s not that God possesses glory, it’s that He is glory! Thus, when the Heavenly Father declared that all people have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23) He had actually stated that all people had not lived up to the standard set by His Son. When Christ became a human, He veiled His glory so that it was not usually visible to human eyes. In this sense, the Son of God was deglorified by becoming a human being. This was captured by one of my favourite musical theologians, Charles Wesley, who wrote these profound lyrics: 

Charles Wesley, who often felt like a failure because he couldn't preach like his more successful brother John. "All I can do is write hymns.”

Charles Wesley, who often felt like a failure because he couldn’t preach like his more successful brother, John. “All I can do is write hymns.”

1. Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new-born King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild;
God and sinners reconciled.”
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With angelic hosts proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem.”

2. Christ, by highest heav’n adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord:
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
Hail th’ incarnate Deity!
Pleased as man with man to dwell,
Jesus our Immanuel.



We have now seen that when the eternal Son of God became a human, His flesh veiled His glorious identity. This veiling was made easier because of the all-pervasive stain of sin on every human soul which naturally prevented people from truly seeing who Jesus really was. Today, of course, even though Christ is now unveiled because of His victory over death which restored the capacity of the redeemed to behold His glory – somethings which He prayed for to His Father (John 17:5) – unredeemed people today are still “blinded” from seeing Christ in His glory because the false god of this world attempts to keep them veiled! When the former slave-trade ship’s captain, John Newton cried out to God for forgiveness and salvation, he later wrote a song in which he testified, “Once I was blind but now I see!”

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers,
to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ,
who is the image of God.
Second Corinthians 4:3-4

But the good news for those who have not yet seen the glory of Christ is that Jesus both invites and offers people to have their veil removed (2Cor. 3:14). And the challenge for us who have seen the glory of Christ is for us to pray that Christ will remove this obscuring veil from those whom we deeply care about – such as those who live in our city, our neighbourhood, our street, and in our homes!



Just before Christ was taken away by the Temple guards to appear before the High Priests where He was tried for blasphemy (because He declared that He was GOD), He went up the Mount of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. What He prayed was profound:

A couple of weeks prior to this Jesus had taken His disciples to the northern most town in Israel, Caesarea Philippi (Mark 8:27). Six days later He took Peter, James, and John, up Mount Hermon where the Jewish “legends” said that the most powerful of the fallen Watcher angels had been imprisoned (Mark 9:1). When they reached the beginning of the snow-line where nothing grows, and the boulders and rocks make the rest of the ascent most uninviting, they stopped. The locals called those large boulders “the gates of hell”. As the uncertain disciples stood there somewhat bewildered, the rocky ground on which they stood began tremble as before their very eyes the black of the night sky was transformed into daylight brighter than full-sun daylight. Then they realised the light was not shining on Christ but out of Him (Mark 9:3)! Then Moses and Elijah appeared with Christ in the midst of the Shekinah (glory) light (Mark 9:4). They then realised that it was not the mountain trembling causing the ground under their feet to become unsteady—it was Christ speaking that was causing the mountain to tremble—and as He spoke with Moses it was as if Moses expected it to (see Exo. 19:18)! Then the Voice of the Father was heard and the mountain trembled yet again (as mountains always do whenever GOD appears on them)! In this moment of the veil being momentarily removed from the apostles’ eyes to see what was always there – the glory of the eternal Son of God – would be etched into Peter’s mind so that even three decades later he recalled it as if it happened yesterday!

¶ For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with Him on the holy mountain.
Second Peter 1:16-18

When Christ conquered sin, death, and devil, He did so as the Lamb of GOD. His victory led to Him being reGlorified and declared as the Lord of all!



My pastoral prayer for you is that you will begin to have a growing revelation of glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, the Scripture teaches us that as we worshipfully behold the glory of the Lord, it will “transform” us into the image of the One in whose image we were created. This is why I have gone to such great pains to discuss the Lordship of Christ in this series, and I hope – I pray – that indeed the eyes of your understanding about Who Christ is will be opened (Eph. 1:16-18) so that you will experience a new passion to worship our Lord and Glorious Saviour.

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord,
are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.
For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
Second Corinthians 3:18


Your Pastor,


Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Domestic violence, sexual assault, date-rape, sexual trafficking of minors, marital infidelity, street-gang violence, illicit drug abuse, high rates of suicide, increased ‘deaths of despair’, homelessness, are all major problems in our culture right now. Governments regard these issues as matters of justice (punishing offenders) while agencies regard these issues as matters of social justice (helping victims). Both are valuable but neither are equipped or positioned unilaterally to solve the causes of these growing problems, and many in both of these sectors believe that it can mever be solved. But I believe they can be. And I need your help. To achieve this, I propose two outrageous, yea – ridiculous – strategies. They are outrageous because they are simple (although not easy); and, they are ridiculous because, to materialists, these are just fanciful, idealistic and supernatural nonsense. However, I have history on my side. It will involve men and women, young and old. But I particularly need all men to read what I am about to propose and for them to share this with other men and together with everyone else help me to bring about the biggest social and cultural revolution our country has ever seen.


Perhaps I was a little unfair to this gentleman though, because it is a well established fact that all men are born with selective hearing (as every wife can testify to) and perhaps this may sometimes spill over into incidents such as the one I just recounted(?). But I also suspect that some women have a similar deficiency.

A few years ago the kids and I were a little concerned about Kim’s hearing difficulties. As it turned out, one day outside a shopping centre that we had just arrived at, there was a government sponsored mobile hearing clinic. We urged the reluctant Kim to go in and have her hearing checked. Much to the utter shock of myself and our children the clinician told Kim that she had “perfect hearing”! This then proved that even women may be able to imitate the innate ability of a man to produce selective hearing 🙂 Therefore, there is a high likelihood that both men and women are equally subject to hearing difficulties.

The problem with any hearing difficulties is that it inevitably leads to the far more serious problem of misunderstanding. Misunderstanding is at the heart of nearly every relationship problem that anyone will ever face. Misunderstandings due to mis-hearing or mis-communication frequently leads to disputes that if not handled correctly, which it is mostly not, is likely to lead to relationship breakdowns. But there is a different – almost secretive – way to deal with misunderstandings. Let me explain by using several pictures that will make my point. 


Mark Lowry is normally comedic. But his now classic Christmas song is no joke! It presents baby Jesus as the eternal God the Son, the creator of heaven and earth, the Saviour of the world, the Redeemer of all humankind who turn to Him, the all-conquering Lamb of God, and the Great Judge of all people, the I AM. The event of His miraculous conception is known as the incarnation (God becoming human). But the incarnation was not Jesus the Christ’s first entrance into our world. In fact, it is as though He felt a divine right to enter our world any time He chose. These various appearances of Jesus prior to His incarnation are referred to as theophanies (appearances of God) or more particularly as Christophanies (appearances of God the Son). I want to highlight one of these in particular…


We have all seen parents abruptly terminate conversations with other adults to keep an eye on their children. Children can wander about easily. They could get involved in acts that are detrimental to themselves. Parental instincts, often reflected more in the mother, is one of those protective gifts that ensures children are kept safe.


Andrew, on occasions, used to wistfully say, “You know, all I really want is…” then he would say some ephemeral pleasure, like ‘a drink of coke’, or ‘quiet’, or ‘to get something finished’. So, one day I decided to ensure that his greatest desire (‘all I really want’) was met. This time all he ever wanted was a coffee, so I bounced up and brought him the best cup of coffee I could make and added a little yummy treat to compliment it. A few days later he once again said, “All I really want…” and I interrupted to finish his sentence for him … “was the cup of coffee that I was able to make for you the other day. I bet it was the best ever. I’m so glad I could meet that greatest desire you have.” He never said, ‘All I really want’ again!


THE LORDSHIP of JESUS CHRIST, Chapter 5 – He is the Creator of Heaven & Earth and all things Visible and Invisible
While the pagan religions in the days of the patriarchs, judges, and kings of Israel, all conceived of their gods as territorial, the God of Israel, Yeshua, declared that He was the Creator of all things and that He was Lord of Heaven and Earth. And He still is.

Freedom in Christ encompasses Freedom FROM and Freedom FOR

God offers freedom to those who turn to Him in faith, and this, as Pastor Andrew says, deserves a Toyota jump. It is worth celebrating. The freedom the New Testament speaks of is not just any old freedom. In Romans 8:21 Paul speaks of ‘the glorious freedom of God’s children’ (NET). In the same way you might savour a piece of chocolate as it slowly melts in your mouth, allow your spirit to savour the meaning of the freedom that is yours in Christ in all its richness. This single word freedom is densely packed with meaning, and we benefit from taking time to unpack just a little of what it means for believers.


Throughout the Old Testament, God made certain promises to the patriarchs (Abraham, Issac, and Jacob/Israel) that their descendants, the nation of Israel, longed to see fulfilled. These promises centred on having a holy Homeland and a Messiah. Over the centuries that followed their expulsion from their Land which sent them into exile into Babylon initially and then into Persia, the Israelites became known as Jews. Their expectations of how these divine promises would be fulfilled became greatly embellished with powerful military overtones.

THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST, Chapter 3 – Before He was Incarnate, He was the Eternal LBefore He was Incarnate, He was the Eternal Lordord

For those unfamiliar with the story of the Bible who may be seeking to remedy that unfamiliarity, I would recommend that they start reading in the New Testament. It is there that they will be introduced immediately to Jesus who is the central character of the whole Bible. For many novice readers of the Bible who then attempt to read the Old Testament of the Bible (its first 39 books), it initially seems like they are reading a completely unrelated story which seems to describe a completely different God. But with a little patience and persistence the reader will begin to suspect that this is not a different story but is in fact the prequel to the New Testament. Then a strange supernatural thing happens as they continue to become acquainted with the lives of the patriarchs, judges, kings and prophets, as these characters interact with enemies, giants, angels, strange heavenly beings, and GOD Himself. The reader begins to see in a similar way to what a photographer could not previously see clearly until his camera’s focus was adjusted to make the picture clear — the GOD who created, acted, spoke and judged, frequently referred to Himself as ‘us’, ‘we’, ‘our’, and at times seemed to have conversations with divine characters identified as ‘the LORD’ and ‘Me’ and ‘His Spirit’ (Isa. 48:16). And this all begins to sound very reminiscent of the GOD described in the New Testament as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. With a growing knowledge of the Bible and hunger to understand it, the follower of Christ discovers that literally for thousands of years prior to this day there have been many many others who have also walked the journey of discovery through the mysterious pages of the Bible and have each made a startling discovery about the human Jesus’ pre-existence throughout the pages of the Old Testament.


The One who spoke the world into existence entered materially into His World and “split time in half”. He came to rescue the world because a great betrayal occurred. One of His chief agents was filled with self-deception and conceited envy and manipulated a serpent to his bidding in destroying the very last and highest of the Lord’s “very good” creation. Disappointingly she fell for it – and her husband who supposed to protect her failed in his most basic of responsibilities. Their fall from innocence and into grace plunged that was momentarily and formerly under their vice-regency. The world had now gone rogue. When the Eternal Son of God submitted to His co-LORD, the Holy Spirit placed Him into a virgin’s womb by uniting his consciousness and sinless essence with the ovum of this young virgin. In doing so, Immanuel relinquished none of His sovereign power or prerogatives but chose to lay aside His glory and become fully human. And for those who came to recognise who He actually was, it ever caused them to fall down at His feet in adoration, or shrink back from Him in terror. The side-effect of those who who adored him was a new ability to sleep. If you have trouble sleeping because of worries, you too can discover how an acquaintance with the Lordship of Jesus the Christ can also help you to sleep better.