Philippians 2:5–11 (NRSV)
Verse 5Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, Verse 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, Verse 7but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, Verse 8he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death even death on a cross. Verse 9Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, Verse 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, Verse 11and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
When we say we want to be like Jesus, it is sometimes easier to think of the healing teacher or the carpenter who confronted the legal experts. But to have the mind of Christ is an entirely different challenge. It turns our focus to our thoughts and motivations rather than calculating how many acts of kindness we’ve done or prayers we’ve said this week. In this moment we glimpse the mind of Christ.
Confronted by human arrogance, Jesus, like God, does not wave a celestial hand to match evil with evil. In the face of corruption, tragedy, illness, and disaster, God, in Jesus, moves into the neighborhood to journey with us. Jesus’ life forever reminds us that he came as Emmanuel: a vulnerable God who put on human flesh. Whatever you are facing in this season of your life, hold to the thought that victory is not gained by vengeance. The greatest thing we do is to allow God to be glorified in every aspect of our lives.
Holy Spirit, empty my mind of all ambitions born of worldly competition, and fill me with the humility to let every step I take enable others to see the lordship of Jesus. Amen.