Wednesday, August 15, 2012
The Mind of Christ Jesus
Paul writes in Philippians 2:5, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.”
The questions for every faithful disciple are obvious: What mindset did Jesus have? What is Paul saying He did? How can we be like Jesus not just in our actions but in the way we think as well?
Some think our mindset is to be humble or to think about others first. These are suggested because of the verses that precede verse 5. I think these are good suggestions. However, I don’t think they are the main thing that Jesus thought about. I think they are fruit that come from His mindset. His mindset, I think, was grander than that.
I see Jesus’ primary concern as giving glory to His Father. He wanted to give God all the glory, so He asked Himself a question, “What is the best way I can give glory to God?” The answer to that question for Jesus and for us is not only general but also specific.
Generally, we are all to live a way of life that brings glory to God in all we do. In addition to that, what does that mean specifically for our own lives? In order to answer that question for Jesus, we should ask another question: What was Jesus called to do or destined to do?
Putting all of these together, Jesus realized the best way for Him to give glory to His Father was to faithfully live out His calling. That meant making decisions that kept Him focused on what He was destined to do. Jesus was destined to give His life so that we could have life. That was His main goal and every decision He made was based around that goal. Because of His calling, He humbled Himself by going to the cross. Because of His destiny, He thought of others first.
Jesus’ mindset was singularly focused on the particular way He could give God the most glory. He gave God glory by focusing on His destiny.
That is the mindset Paul wants us to have. It means that we are to focus on giving glory to God. Generally, for all of us, that means we are to know and love God. It means we are to live as His disciples who love God and others and make other disciples. Specifically, it means we are to figure out what God has destined us to do and then to focus all of our attention on doing it.
What has God destined you to do? That’s the question each of us needs to answer and then make central to our life in Jesus Christ.