In my Connections class on Sunday mornings, we’ve been diving into Philippians. While looking at Chapter 2: 5-11, I began to see how applicable it was. The next day during my weekly appointment with God—a three hour block of time set aside just for us—I explored the passage. The theological implications are profound, while the practical ones are convicting.
Let’s explore it, line by line, verses in bold, with my comments in parentheses and italics.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, (Jesus) being in very nature God, (part of the trinitarian God, same essence and attributes)
did not consider equality with God (he had it then, has it now) something to be used to his own advantage; (the divine station and all the perks aren’t important to him)
rather, he made himself nothing (became human, with all our weaknesses, setting aside what he deserved)
by taking the very nature of a servant, (not serving himself, but God, and others as needed)
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man, (God the Son taking on a human nature and body)
he humbled himself (by giving up all rights and privileges)
by becoming obedient to death— (willingly sacrificing himself)
even death on a cross! (a slow torturous death without honor)
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place (from God, to selfless servant who gave it all up and suffered for it, to more honor than any other)
and gave him the name that is above every name, (under no one’s authority)
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth, (God put everything under his authority)
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, (and all will realize that he is King of everything)
to the glory of God the Father.
Jesus submitted to God the Father’s will in both attitude and purpose. He has the same rank, rights, privileges, attributes, and being as part of the Godhead. Can do whatever he wanted, yet doesn’t consider important enough to hold onto.
He set aside everything he deserved, and became human. Subject to temperature, weariness, hunger, thirst, temptation, all of it. Didn’t come to rule as an earthly king, but to serve others. He gave up all his rights and privileges in order to willingly sacrifice himself in a painful death without honor or dignity.
What Does It Mean To Have The Same Mindset As Jesus?
Ask yourself that. I did, and I have some progress to make. The only reason I have got as far as I have, in comparison to where I was, is because of his work inside me as I try.
First, we have to submit to God’s will in attitude and purpose. That’s what it’s all about, why Jesus did what he did. It’s hard though. God tells us things we don’t like, or want to do.
Considering He’s all-powerful and knowing, He would have a reason for it. Maybe to keep you from getting hurt or helping someone.
Second, think about your ranks. I’m the head of the household, a supervisor, leader, mentor, grief facilitator, and teacher.
Now think about your rights, like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
What about the privileges you enjoy? Perks of the job, telling others what to do, doing what you want to do, for example.
They have to become meaningless. They’re there, but not important. This may be the hardest part. I’m not writing about asceticism, but open-handed living, holding things loosely.
Lastly, are you willing to give them up to see and help others? When necessary, or not, to do things you’re not obligated to, that you may even consider beneath you?
Answer these. It does hurt a bit to see ourselves compared to the goodness of Christ. Because of what he did, we can become part of his family.
God gave him more honor than any other, none is better, untouchable, with complete authority over everything. When we get to Heaven, one of the best moments will be when Jesus looks at you, and says, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”
Something to think about.