Why God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:…
Can the public spirit displayed by Jesus Christ be allowed to terminate in the tomb? Or will it receive a gracious recognition and compensation? It is to this we are next brought by the apostle. The Father set his seal upon the Son's self-sacrifice by highly exalting him and conferring on him a superlative Name. And here we learn -
I. THAT EXALTATION IS PROPORTIONAL TO HUMILIATION IS the FINAL ARRANGEMENTS OF GOD. (Ver. 9.) The humiliation of Christ, as we have seen, is the deepest which the universe admitted of; and so his exaltation is the greatest. Just as water descending front the highest height will return to its own level; so Christ, in condescending to the cross and the grave from the eternal throne, comes back to more than pristine glory, and gets a Name which is above every name. Hence if we were wise, we should gladly abase ourselves in the assurance that self-abasement, is the plain and only path to real exaltation (Luke 14:11).
II. THE FATHER HAS GIVEN UNTO JESUS A NAME WHICH IS ABOVE EVERY NAME. (Ver. 9.) Now, when we consider what a "name" is, we find that it is a revelation of what a person or thing is. Of course, names may be given where their appellative character is not regarded; but when a name is given as a glory, it contains a revelation. Thus it has been pertinently said, "Names are mysteries, labelled. A thing not labelled is a mystery directly. If it has not been named, we look at it, we smell it, we taste it, we wonder at it; and finally ask - What can it be? Naming is the annihihation of curiosity. Names are disguises put upon things to conceal from us their mystery. Things without names would be too wonderful for us. Only a few people continue to wonder as much after a thing is named, as before." Now, the Name which the Father sets above every name is that of Jesus. The signification of this name is Savior (Matthew 1:21), and the whole course of Providence is to exalt this above every other name. Hence the deep significance of this passage seems to be this - that salvation is the greatest glory which can be attributed to any individual. Even the world is coming round to this idea, that for a man to be the "savior of his country" in any sense is the highest position to which he can attain. When public worth is recognized, it is in connection with some salvation which the hero has wrought for men. The world is steadily moving towards this Divine idea, that the highest glory attainable in the nature of things is the glory of saving in some way others.
III. AT THE NAME OF JESUS THE UNIVERSE SHALL YET BOW. (Vers. 10, 11.) Among the saviours of mankind the Lord Jesus Christ is, of course, pre-eminent. All other salvations will be made to appear in their essential insignificance when compared with Christ's salvation of his fellows from sin and death. Hence the long procession of the ages shall yet issue in the universal acclaim, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing" (Revelation 5:12). This is only another way of putting the truth that self-sacrifice shall yet be recognized as the sublimest manifestation of personality, and that in self-sacrifice Jesus has been pre-eminent. The homage of the universe is yet to be made before the self-sacrifice which is embodied in Jesus Christ.
IV. THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS SHALL BE UNIVERSALLY ACKNOWLEDGED. (Ver. 11.) Not only shall the Name of Jesus be put in honor above all other names, but his right to reign shall be recognized by all. The sovereignty of self-sacrifice is the goal of intellectual and moral progress. Jesus, as embodying the principle in absolute perfection, will yet receive the homage of the universe. Even his enemies shall be constrained to bow to his authority and submit to his holy will. The triumph of self-forgetfulness and consideration for others is to be embodied in the acknowledged sovereignty of the Savior.
V. But lastly, THE GLORY OF THE FATHER SHALL PROVE TO BE THE LAST END OF THE WHOLE PLAN. (Ver. 11.) For what is this but a similar compensation coming in natural order round to the Father again? The Father in the present dispensation has set himself to glorify, not himself, but his self-sacrificing other self, the Son. He is himself exemplifying the self-forgetfulness and consideration for others for which his gospel calls. The Father is not looking on his own things, any more than the Son. Each Person of the adorable Trinity looks away from self to secure the glory of his mate. Is it not right and beautiful in these circumstances that the glory of the great Father should result from the consideration for others he has shown, and that the mediatorial honors of Jesus should in the end be laid at the Father's feet? It is sometimes thought that it savours of selfishness to say that God arranges all things for his own glory. But when it is analyzed we find that the seemingly selfish arrangement has been really the most absolute unselfishness. God has been looking upon the things and interests of others all the time. He has been laying himself out for the good of his creatures. Disinterestedness has characterized his whole history; and if it be arranged that eventually the universe recognizes and adores the self-forgetfulness of God, if this is to be hailed at last as the only real glory, - then surely we could not desire it otherwise. - R.M.E.
Parallel VersesKJV: Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: