I received some really good feedback asking for a little more of a deeper look at verses 5-8 than yesterday’s blog – so, here’s an attempt. 🙂
When Paul talks about having the same mind, understanding & attitude as Christ, he tells us this using the command form of the verb. He’s not making a suggestion, or having a flash of brillance or even coming up with a good idea. He is commanding us to have the same mind & attitude as Christ has. From here, I believe that Paul demonstrates what he means by “having the same mind / attitude” in the next few points.
First, in relation to position, Jesus did not “regard equality with God as something to be grasped.” (NET) Literally, not gripping supposing to be equal to God. Humans are big on positions – 1st string Varsity, Treasurer of Student Council, Chief Operations Officer, . . . . But of all the people who have ever lived & had a right to claim or hold onto a position, Jesus, being the Son of God would be the person most entitled to claim & hold onto His rightful position & status. Knowing what Jesus did, we are commanded to have His mind & attitude, not demanding or clinging to a position we may have – whether we earned it, deserve it, were born with it or whatever. Jesus, the 2nd person of the Trinity, was born in a manger.
Next, Jesus emptied Himself – not of His divinity, but of His glory. Seems like there are lots of examples of Him emptying Himself – from his 40 day fast when He was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit, to welcoming children to bless them, to making breakfast for Peter after he had denied Jesus. But I’d like your input on how we can empty ourselves. What ways have you found helpful to be more empty?
After emptying, Paul says that Jesus took the form of a servant. I did a little more checking into the word Paul uses here for servant & this word, doulos, was considered to be one of the worst positions a person could have in life. The will of a doulos was completely subjected to his master’s desires & in some cases, a doulos was considered to be almost sub-human. They had no rights, privileges, social status, possessions or position. And Jesus took this form – keeping in mind that Paul tells us to have the same mind & attitude as Jesus. Clearly, the idea of becoming a servant like this, flies in the face of all modern convenience or paradigms. Nevertheless, we are commanded to serve, even live a life of service, no matter how menial the task may be or seem.
After taking the form of a servant, Paul says that Jesus came in the likeness of man. Yesterday, we saw that this word likeness is where we get our word, “scheme”. Remember that Jesus is fully God, as though He were not man & fully man as though He were not God. Since we already are humans, my take on what Paul means when he says to have the same mind as Christ, in relation to the likeness of man, is that we not take ourselves so seriously.
Finally, after doing all these things, Paul says that Jesus humbled Himself & became obedient to death on the cross. I don’t think there was any way that Jesus could humble Himself more than what He underwent through His death. If you want to look into what all this entailed with more depth, here are a few websites as starting points: http://www.konnections.com/Kcundick/crucifix.html & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifixion
So, hopefully, there’s a little more depth for you here. Let us know if you have any suggestions on implementing any &/or all of these points into your daily living.
Next week, we’ll be going through 2:9-18, so I’d encourage you to read these verses everyday, as part of your quiet time w God. 🙂