Sunday, 1 January 2017
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, Philippians 2:5
Paul just said to his audience (and thus to us!) “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” With that as a springboard for one of the most profound statements to be penned in the entire Bible, he now says, “Let this mind be in you…” In other words, what he will say follows naturally after the previous verse which dealt with “the interest of others,” and so it will explain what that means in a particular way.
The word translated as “let mind be” is phronéō. It literally means, “the midriff or diaphragm; the parts around the heart.” From that it indicates to “regulate (moderate) from within, as inner-perspective (insight) shows itself in corresponding, outward behavior… [it] “essentially equates to personal opinion fleshing itself out in action…” (HELPS Word Studies).
Paul is asking us to think on what he will say, and then to have that thought turn into actual behavior which is in line with that thought. Understanding this, he then explains what “mind” we are to have in us. It is one “which was also in Christ Jesus.” The mind of Christ Jesus, and which then was reflected in His outward behavior, is what we are to have in us. If we can contemplate and then act on what we will be told, we will be truly faithful and obedient followers of Jesus Christ.
The words ahead, and which include this introduction, are known as the kenotic hymn. They are marvelous words which reveal the very glory of what God has done through the Person and work of Jesus Christ. It is this which Paul now implores us to consider and emulate.
Life application: We cannot emulate that which we don’t know about. But God has revealed to us His will in Scripture. Let us never tire of coming to this fount of wisdom, and let us apply its truths to our lives.
Lord God, it is hard to imagine the depth of the love which prompted You to come and reside among us, instructing us, allowing us to see Your glory, and allowing us to exercise our will against You in the most horrifying way. And yet, instead of wrath, You poured out mercy. For all who will simply come and receive the Gift. Thank You, O God, for Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.