Jesus had the most distinctive approach to life and the wisest thing we can do is imitate his way of life.
Philippians 2.5 – Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.
It is a high aspiration to be like Jesus in 2022, but in the first century, Jesus’ behavior would have seemed foolish.
Let’s consider Jesus’ life and marvel at its unusual character.
Jesus did not clutch with all his might to his rightful privileges as the Son of God.
Philippians 2.6 – Who, though he existed in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be grasped,
John wrote about Jesus’ pre-existence, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
“All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being” (John 1.1-3).
Before the first human was created there must have been a conversation within the Trinity. For humans to have the ability to love God, their love had to be free.
Freedom to love requires freedom to rebel, too. With foreknowledge, the Trinity knew human sin would have to be redeemed through the sacrifice of the Son of God.
Paul wrote about the day when the eternal Son of God entered our world to redeem us.
— Galatians 4.4-5 – But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
In order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children.
Jesus did not firmly clutch his heavenly privilege, but released for our sake.
The first century viewed this aspect of Jesus’ attitude toward life as complete foolishness.
To the extent we continue to hold on to our rights and privileges, we reveal our true feelings toward Jesus’ approach to life.
Jesus never stopped being the Son of God. Neither did he merely pretend to be human. He was always God and at all times human while on earth.
This aspect of Jesus’ existence is a mystery and can only be grasped by faith. We marvel at his nature, especially his willingness to be a servant.
Philippians 2.7 – But emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
assuming human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a human,
Jesus told his striving followers, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all” (Mark 9.35).
At the Last Supper, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet and told them.
— John 13.12-15 – “Do you know what I have done to you?
“You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for that is what I am.
“So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.”
Jesus approached life as a servant, even willing to perform a service that Jewish slaves were not required to do.
Not only did Jesus release his privileges, but he also assumed the life of a servant.
Those of us who believe that Jesus knows best how to live will imitate his approach to life and serve alongside him.
Humility was not valued in the first century. In fact, humble service that led to crucifixion was as offensive as the most vulgar word or act in our current culture.
Nevertheless, Jesus approached life as a humble and obedient servant.
Philippians 2.8 – He humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death —
even death on a cross.
Rudy Ross and I discuss pride in today’s YouTube video. Pride is like a black hole in space, where everything is drawn in only to be destroyed.
I told Rudy today that the height of pride is to tell God that we know better how to live our lives than he does.
Jesus had enough faith in the Father that he humbly obeyed his directions.
This is the way Jesus approached his life. We do well to “have the mind of Christ,” and live like our Savior.
In today’s YouTube video, Rudy Ross and I talk about this passage. The video can be found on the Bob Spradling channel.
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