Archive | December 18th, 2014

Philippian Right-mindedness: The Submissive Mind

December 18, 2014

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Washing of Feet - Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337)

Washing of Feet – Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337)

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men – Philippians 2:5-7

Christ came here and gave himself over to the service of man-kind.

Even though he is divine,

Even though he is God,

Even though he had the power to take what he wanted while he was here,

He gave himself to us – up to and including the sacrifice on the cross.

Christ will take his followers and do the same thing to them. Everyone. It doesn’t matter if we are elders, deacons, teachers, ministers – whatever – Christ will make us servants. This is the essence of the mind of Christ:

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. – Philippians 2:3-4

Christians have the tendency to become service minded as they read and study and work to become Christ-like.

But it’s not a natural act is it?

When we were kids playing house, or role playing, no one ever volunteered to be the butler. It is not natural to set goals to become an even harder worker and do even more for someone else. In Matthew 20, we see the typical human attitude in the disciples. James and John even got their mother to speak on their behalf to secure a high place in Christ’s kingdom. The other ten angry disciples are getting ready to mix it up over this when Jesus ends the event of Matthew 20:20-28 with his purpose for being on earth:

…even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. – Matthew 20:28

I’m not sure the disciples ever got this until sometime after the events in Acts 1.

We know John 13 well. Jesus knelt down to wash the disciples’ feet before their meal. The most menial of tasks. What was he teaching us by doing such a thing? We see the mind of Christ at work here when he said to go and do likewise. (John 13:15)

As Paul is reminding the church of Christ’s humble attitude in Philippians 2, he is telling us what Jesus tried to teach his entire time on earth:

Christ wants a church that serves (Philippians 2:4)

And a church that does it gladly (Philippians 2:14)

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