Journey to Jerusalem Day 43
Wednesday in Holy Week, April 8 Philippians 2:5-11
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The Bible is not merely an entertaining book. It has a purpose, and that purpose is transformation—that we might become men and women whose lives reveal Jesus. Thus, Paul says, “Have this mind among yourselves” (v5), and he then describes the selflessness and humility of Christ expressed through obedience. The ultimate expression being the cross, “obedient to the point of death” (v8).
How could or should “this mind” look in our lives? As with Jesus, our obedience begins prior to the testing grounds with an accounting—Jesus “did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself” (vv6-7). We are called to discern (count) who we are in this world. The Christian’s primary identification is not (should not be) their family name, socio-economic status, or personality type. Christians are children of God. God is not a father who produces entitled children; he is Lord and Master.
Unlike Christ we are not God’s equal. We rightly see ourselves as subordinate to him and his ways. This means we humble ourselves. Christians, therefore, will abstain from certain things out of obedience to God and respect for others, causing the world to think we are crazy, misguided, or arrogant. (How’s that for irony?)
Nevertheless, Jesus’ “mind” must shape our minds!
Notice that having “this mind” leads to blessing and reward, “Therefore God has highly exalted him” (v9). The reward given to Jesus is his alone.
I’m not suggesting one day all will bow to you because of your obedience. I am saying the Bible celebrates this kind of paradox wherein emptying ourselves allows God to fill us up, wherein service leads to greatness, and humility to exaltation.
Gracious Father shape the mind of Christ within us today; in Jesus’ name. Amen!