9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, humbled Himself, taking weak humanity upon Himself, living a perfect life, submitting to God the Father, and enduring death in the place of people who are undeserving. Because of the great humiliation and righteous obedience, God exalted Jesus as King. The result of Jesus’ humiliation is His exaltation. It is a peculiar truth to hear: that the King of all things should be humiliated by willing choice and thereby attain glory. Such is the way of the Gospel: the lowly are always exalted and the proud are always humbled.
In His brokenness, Jesus submitted completely to the Father. In response to such magnificent humility God exalted Him and granted Him Kingship. Ponder that truth for a moment. Within the God-head, the Son was exalted by the Father. The Son willingly subjected Himself to the Father and the Father exalted the Son. The Son was exalted to the highest degree possible. His name made, “above every name.” Names have power. This is why when someone is associated by a particular manicure, that name can give insight about that person to the hearer. The name of God is sacred. So sacred that the Hebrews left off the vowel markings in the name of The LORD. When the name of a man is spoken it reflects the character of that man and the experiences we have associated with him. Likewise, when the name of the LORD is spoken it bears authority and reflects the experience humanity has had with the Lord.
Jesus’ name is exalted above every name for a result. His name is exalted so that it would result in all creation bowing before Him as Lord. When His name is spoken, the earth and heaven must bow. So great is His name that every tongue will confess that He is Lord. In an age when nations rage against the Almighty Lord of all things, it is comforting to know that every knee and tongue will confess Him as Lord. No one will be able to deny His kingship. Those who reject Him now, will not be able to reject Him forever.
It is important to note: Paul does not say that everyone will confess Jesus as savior. His name does not save those who will not trust in Him. He only saves those who believe. While Jesus is Lord of all, He is savior only to those who trust in Him for salvation. If you have not trusted in Jesus Christ, then confess your sin to Him and ask Him to cover you with His righteousness. Follow Jesus. He will be Lord regardless, but you can delight in Him as savior now as well.
Christ, brining Himself low, was exalted by the Father to the highest position possible. Consider how great the height must be. In order to be above all names, Christ must ascend beyond all of creation, all ideologies, philosophies, charities, and monarchies. He must be exalted beyond all power, dominion, authority, and benevolence. He is exalted above the greatest and the least. He is imposing over all things a power that none other can exercise. His name is exalted above all others, because He made Himself nothing.
He brought Himself low. In turn, God raised Jesus up. Now Jesus glorifies the Father. This cyclical glorification is common in the God-head. It is unusual to humanity, because humanity is sinful and cannot manage to think of the glorification of someone else as mutually beneficial to us. For a human, only one person can be glorified in an instant. But in the God-head, the glorification of one is the glorification of all three persons. So, Father exalts Jesus, Jesus exalts the Father. What is remarkable is the effortlessness with which this glorification takes place. The Father does not have to work to exalt or validate Jesus. His glory is intrinsic to Him. In the same manner: Jesus, simply by being Jesus, glorifies God the Father. The glory of God, is natural within all members of the God-head.
If the Spirit of God lives in Christians, then it stands to reason that God can be naturally glorified in believers as well. If a believer bears the image of God on his/her heart, then they will bring glory to God. This truth is evident in the lives of true believers. God has changed their hearts and they live differently. Christians find their joy in humiliation, they love with an almost reckless abandon, and they connect with people in a way that no other community can. It is sometimes difficult for Christians in the west to realize that they are appointed to bring glory to God in this way. Western Christians are sometimes so caught up in the story of their own material life that they forget their life is found in Christ. As a result they will spiritually hold their breath and find themselves gasping for air at events and conferences and occasional worship services. Oh Christian, embrace the humiliation and love that Christ models. God will exalt when God desires. In the embrace of the mission of God in humility, you will find yourself a delight to His heart and a glory to His name.