who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,Philippians 2:6 (ESV)
Who is the “who” in the verse? It is Jesus Christ! Verse 5 already prepared us for expecting a glimpse into Jesus’ own mind, which is what verse 6 starts to expose for us.
“though” is setting us up for a contrast between a reality and an action. The reality is that Jesus was “in the form of God”. The action is that Jesus “did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped”. Verse 7 will continue Jesus’ actions, but already we have great insight into the mind of Christ that is also to be in Christians (verse 5).
When Jesus came to earth, He did not lose His divinity. He was still fully God. Making an image of God is clearly forbidden throughout the Scriptures, except for Jesus, who is the perfect image of the invisible God (Col 1:15). Jesus was the external appearance of everything God is, for He is the only person of the God-head that has a physical body too.
Yet, in spite of being fully equal with God, Jesus didn’t think about that equality as something to be grasped as though it was some personal right to insist upon. Instead, as verse 7 will explain, Jesus set aside the right to full equality with God so He could take on humanity for the sake of sinners.
Remember though, that this is an example for our own mindsets (verse 5). In other words, if Jesus, who was the exact expression of Deity, didn’t insist on His rights to equality with God, but still humbly served us, should we not also lay aside our personal rights in service to one another? One example of this is strikingly simple: grumble and complain less while in this world (Phil 2:14-15).
Such a Christ-like mindset is already ours in Christ Jesus, so let us have this mind among ourselves (verse 5), considering what others want (verse 4), thinking highly of others (verse 3), not being so selfish (verse 3), being a little more united (verse 2), and excelling in spiritual love and encouragement (verse 1).