Philippians: Magnifying Christ (excerpt)

Now we must consider what it means to magnify Christ. The word magnify means to make something large to our sight. Perhaps you are wondering how Christ can be magnified since He is already universally great. According to Ephesians 3, the dimensions of Christ—the breadth, length, height, and depth—are immeasurable. They are the dimensions of the universe. Although Christ is vast, extensive, and immeasurable, in the eyes of the praetorium, the imperial guard of Caesar, Christ was virtually nonexistent. In their eyes, there was not such a person as Jesus Christ. However, Paul magnified Christ; he made Him great before the eyes of others, especially before the eyes of those who guarded him in prison. As a result, some eventually turned to Christ. Evidence of this is found in 4:22, where Paul speaks of the saints of Caesar’s household. Through Paul’s magnification of Christ, even some in Caesar’s household were saved.

At the time of Paul’s imprisonment, the Jews were despised by the Romans. The Romans were the conquerors, and the Jews were the conquered. Among these conquered ones there was a man named Jesus. Although He is great and most wonderful, in the eyes of the Romans He was nothing. But as Paul was held captive in a Roman prison, he magnified Christ, making Him to appear great in the eyes of his captors.