Paul in Philippians 2:5 Philippians 2:5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
American King James Version×states the following: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” The New American Standard Bible states it this way, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.” What attitude or frame of mind was Paul referring to? Verses 6 and 7 help to explain the attitude that Christ had. “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (NIV).
Jesus Christ had always existed as the second member of the God family. Through Him the Father created all things that are “in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible…. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16-17 Colossians 1:16-17 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
American King James Version×). This Great Being was willing to humble Himself and be made as a man. The attitude or mind that Christ had was one of love (He gave His life), humility and service.
Christ’s Approach in Action
Let’s notice Christ’s example and teaching on this topic. On the night of the final Passover, the disciples were arguing over who was the greatest. Notice Luke’s account of the incident. “Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. Jesus said to them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves ‘” (Luke 22:24-27 Luke 22:24-27 24 And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.
25 And he said to them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority on them are called benefactors.
26 But you shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that does serve.
27 For whether is greater, he that sits at meat, or he that serves? is not he that sits at meat? but I am among you as he that serves.
American King James Version×, NIV).
Not only did Jesus teach the principle of how to be great, but also He lived it. This may be one reason why Christ instituted the footwashing service-to model and to teach His disciples the proper approach to leadership. He acknowledged that He was their Lord and teacher. Yet He was willing to wash their feet-the job of a lowly servant. In John 13:15 John 13:15For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
American King James Version×Christ said, “I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” Christ expects us to follow His example in our relationships with one another. We are to be servants and to serve one another with humility.
Jesus Christ daily lived the give way of life. His whole life was dedicated to serving others. He was a true servant leader. He constantly taught, encouraged, healed and visited during His ministry. He truly was the greatest example of a loving servant in the history of mankind.
The disciples exemplified the human tendency to be more concerned about position and rank than about serving. “Mrs. Zebedee” asked Christ if her two sons could sit on His right hand and left hand in the Kingdom. When the other disciples heard about the request, they were angry and upset. Why? They probably wanted the same positions or they were afraid that James and John would have a greater position.
Christ had to teach them all a valuable lesson. “But Jesus called them to Himself and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave-just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many’ ” (Matthew 20:25-28 Matthew 20:25-28 25 But Jesus called them to him, and said, You know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority on them.
26 But it shall not be so among you: but whoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
27 And whoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
American King James Version×).
Christ explained that there are two different approaches to leadership-the world’s approach and the servant approach. The natural approach in this world is to use authority to lord it over others. Christ did not say that there are no positions of authority, but that authority and power is to be used to serve.
We have been called to be kings and priests in the Kingdom of God. That means that we will serve humanity in the future. The greater the responsibility in the Kingdom, the greater will be the opportunity to serve. However, we won’t be in the Kingdom unless we are learning to apply the mind of Christ in all of our relationships today. We won’t automatically become servants in the Kingdom if don’t learn to be servants today.
Let’s take a look at the practical application of this principle in our everyday life-in our family, marriage, Church and job. As parents, we are in charge of our families. Are we also their servants? The most powerful way we influence and teach our children is by our example. From the time a child is born, parents generally spend the next 18 years feeding, clothing, providing shelter, educating, teaching and loving their children. Our approach must be one that is established upon love and dedicated to the growth and to the development of our families.
In marriage, are we dedicated to serving one another? Many marriages fail because of selfishness, a lack of concern and neglect. Marriage gives us a wonderful opportunity to apply the principles of humility and love on a daily basis. Jesus Christ is the head of the Church. He is in charge. The Church is the bride of Christ. The bride submits to her husband and serves Him. Yet, we know that Jesus Christ also serves the Church. He is the head and constantly guides and gives direction to us. Through the Spirit of God He guides, inspires, teaches, helps, encourages, intervenes and leads us. We respond to Him because we know that He gave His life for us. Even though He is the head of the Church, both He and the Father serve the Church and always have our best interest at heart.
We have all been placed in the Body as God sees fit (1 Corinthians 12:18 1 Corinthians 12:18But now has God set the members every one of them in the body, as it has pleased him.
American King James Version×). God has given each of us responsibilities, gifts, talents and abilities. Why? Not for selfish purposes, but for the overall good of the Body (verse 7). Each part of our physical body serves the rest of the body. We are not placed in the Body for privilege, but for service. We have all been called to be servants. We use our gifts and talents as an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. We use whatever position God gives us (member, minister or administrator) to serve others out of deep concern and humility.
This is an approach and attitude that God wants all of us to develop. Let this mind or attitude be in us that was in Christ Jesus. UN