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What did Jesus give up when he came to earth?

In his pre-human existence, Jesus was a spirit being in heaven in constant communion with his Father. Jesus as “the Word” served his heavenly Father, “THE God.” He was lower in rank “a god” or “mighty one” of the angelic order.

He is identified with the title “the Word” (Logos in the Greek), and in John 1:1-2 (KJV) we read: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Unfortunately, these scriptures have been mistranslated and misunderstood. A more accurate, word-for-word translation for John 1:1-2 would be, In the beginning the Word was towards the God and a god was the Word.

The Greek word for “with” in the KJV means “towards” (“pros”) and is so used in John 1:29 (KJV),

“The next day, John sees Jesus coming towards [i.e., unto] him.” Of the 99 uses of “pros” in John’s Gospel, it is translated “unto” or “to” 86 times, but not again one time as “with.”

“Towards God” is a Greek idiom that means “pertaining to God,” or “in the service of God.” The identical idiom is again used in Hebrews 2:17 (NASB): Therefore, he had to be made like his brethren in all things, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

“Was God” is more accurately translated as “a god.” (See Benjamin Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott interlinear translation.) The word “God” in this verse is the Greek word “theos,” meaning “mighty one.” The same Greek word, theos, is used for mighty people in power in John 10:34-35. For example, Jesus states the judges of Israel were called “gods” (see also Psalm 82:6). Additionally, in 2 Corinthians 4:4, Satan is called the “god (theos) of this world.”

 Jesus was the “Word” of God before he was made flesh (John 1:14). He was a mighty one (a god) serving in the things pertaining to (THE) God and he has had this privilege since the very beginning of time. He had a level of glory and in a very unique position as being “the only begotten from the Father.”

Jehovah had no beginning but is “from everlasting to everlasting” (Psalm 90:2), while Revelation 3:14 calls Jesus “the beginning of God’s creation,” as “the only begotten son,” (John 3:16, 1 John 4:9).

Jesus was “the Word” or spokesman of the Almighty because in him God revealed and executed His plan and purposes. Eastern kings usually had an officer, called the King’s Word or Voice, who stood upon the steps of the throne, at the side of a lattice window covered with a curtain. Behind this curtain the king sat and expressed his commands to this officer. The Word spoke for the king. From this custom, the phraseology of the text is derived.

In Genesis 1:27, God said “Let us make man in our image…” God was talking to the Logos and the angelic family. God is the great architect of His plan and used the Logos and the angels to help carry out the work of the natural creation. 1 Corinthians 8:6 (KJV): …there is but one God, the Father, of whom (as the architect) are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom (as the instrumentality of creation) are all things, and we by him. 

Jesus understood and remembered where he came from while he was human on earth.

John 17:5 (NASB) Now, Father, glorify me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

Jesus was rewarded with an even higher nature than before – the divine nature at God’s right hand.

Philippians 2:9-11: (NASB) For this reason also, God highly exalted him, and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Hebrews 2:6-8: (KJV) But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him (specifically being applied to Jesus as the son of man) a little lower than the angels; thou crownest him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.

Divine nature is immortal. This means having life that is not dependent on an outside source: John 5:26: (NASB) For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the son also to have life in himself.

In summary, Jesus as the Logos or Word was a spirit being in heaven with the unique position of being God’s only begotten son. We can only imagine the privileges of communion and trust that came with such an honor. The Logos was the “master workman” in carrying out God’s grand design of creation and we can imagine he was in charge of delegation to the other spirit beings in heaven.

We so much appreciate his ransom sacrifice on our behalf, as described in 1 Timothy 2:5-6: (NASB) For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.

Because of his faithfulness, Jesus was rewarded with an even higher spiritual position than he originally held, that of the divine nature.

To learn more about Jesus’ life and sacrifice for mankind listen to, “Are Jesus’ Ransom and Our Salvation the Same?” and “How Did Jesus’ Resurrection Change Both Heaven and Earth?”