"Have this mind among yourselves . . ."

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 made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

Philippians 2:5-7 (ESV)

In my opinion, Paul completely nails it in this passage in the second chapter of Philippians.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus. How often am I willing to take on the form of a servant? But our Lord did not just take on the form of a servant, He also “emptied Himself”.

When you consider that in Him “all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” . . . I’m reminded of the woman who broke the jar of expensive perfume and annointed Jesus with it. She was merely recapitulating, in a “small and near” way, the act of worship that was Jesus’ life lived unto us and to His Father; the emptying of Himself, culminating in the emptying of the unfathomably priceless perfume of His blood to the salvation of us all.

And we’re called to that same mindset. We’re called to empty ourselves. It is hard to do. Very hard. I like the comfort of being full of myself and I don’t like to lose “me”. And yet Jesus emptied Himself, and, though from eternity He was uncreated God, allowed Himself to be “made”. Made in the likeness of men.

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

-Philippians 2:8 (ESV)

Obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross! What terrible images, smells, and sounds the word “cross” would conjure in the mind of a first century inhabitant of the Roman empire! Yet Paul is speaking of One who willingly, obediently went there.

“Have this mind among yourselves . . .”

We are exhorted to be of the same mind as Christ, to have His attitude. We have a word for those who willingly give their lives for others, who throw themselves on top of the grenade, who run into the burning building, who take the bullet. We call them “heroes”. Christ is my Hero, my Rescuer. We’re called to be heroes too.

Have this mind among yourselves. It begins in “small and near” ways, in the daily choices of blessed humility over self-exaltation, in the million services that we can provide to those around us. It’s so easy to overlook these opportunities.

It begins there, but a life of obedient service to God and man will train us in the self-forgetfulness that is true humility, and will prepare us for our opportunity for greater love, for deeper and perhaps ultimate sacrifice, for becoming the work of art that God has created us to be. For His glory. That, like the apostles, we will leave the arguments behind about which of us is the greatest, and will pour ourselves out for the One who is, undisputably, the Greatest.

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

– Philippians 2:9-11 (ESV)

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