Philippians 2:1-8 NIV
1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
In these verses, Paul is describing the mindset of Jesus Christ, as He walked on this earth.
He made himself nothing and He took the very nature of a servant.
He humbled himself and He became obedient, even to death on the cross
Paul implores us to take on the mindset of Jesus, who made Himself nothing, by taking the very nature of a servant.
The apostle isn’t instructing us to become a slave or take a job as a domestic servant.
He is instructing us to assume the nature of a servant, where we become minor or less important compared to those we serve, being humble and obedient to their needs.
Websters dictionary defines servant as a person who performs duties for others, especially a person employed in a house for domestic duties or as a personal attendant. Further, a servant is defined as a devoted and helpful follower and supporter.
At the time of Paul’s writing, over one half of the Roman Empire population were slaves or servants of one sort or another. In addition to manual labor or domestic help, many were highly skilled professionals. These included accountants and physicians. The Greek slaves were often highly educated.
As Rome expanded its empire, conquered people became slaves to earn their Roman citizenship. This is why there are so many references to slaves or servants in the New Testament.
THE MINDSET OF JESUS
Christ could have come to this earth as a powerful King.
In fact, that is what the Israelites expected. They wanted and expected a liberating warrior king who would remove Roman domination over them.
What they got was a humble and obedient servant, who instructed His disciples that they too must be servants, serving God and fellow man.
Matthew 20:25-28 NIV
25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
HOW DO WE HAVE THIS MINDSET?
How do we obtain this mindset of Jesus? What traits must we develop to take on the role of a servant in our daily walk?
To do so we must have or cultivate the following traits, displaying them in our daily life;
Humility – We must not be puffed up with self-importance and not think of ourselves as better than others
Concern for others – We must always be considerate of the needs of others and looking for ways to help
Care for others – We must always be ready and able to assist others when there is a need
Selflessness – We must lose any self-centeredness and selfish tendencies
Acceptance – We must accept the position of a servant gladly and whole heartedly
Willingness – We must be willing to put service to others above our own needs and wants
If you have ever worked in a restaurant, fast food place, or retail establishment among other places, you understand the importance of serving your customer. Good or outstanding service is a necessity to maintain customers and grow the business. Providing good or outstanding service to the clientele is what you owe to your employer and the customer. It is what you do... or, should do.
As a child of God, we owe Him the same allegiance. We should serve Him each day of our life and in doing so, we will serve the needs of others as we have the opportunity.
Jesus taught in order to be great, you must be a servant. In order to be first, you must be a servant. In other words, in order to be a leader, you must have the nature of a servant.
Jesus, even though deity, humbled Himself and took on the very nature of a servant. In doing so, He became obedient to death, even death on a cross.
In other words, Jesus fully surrendered and committed Himself to His mission.
Let us take a moment and ask ourselves the following questions;
- Are we totally surrendered to God and service to Him every day of our lives?
- Are we committed totally to the needs of others, above our own needs?
- In our daily life, do we display the above-mentioned traits of a servant?
Since this was the mindset of Jesus, it is something that we should consider thoughtfully, with prayer and meditation.