Philippians 2:5-11 is a familiar passage of scripture. More often than not, I think, we focus on what it says about Jesus. Since this passage says a lot about Jesus, our focus makes sense. I wonder, however, if the main point of this scripture is really about us and those around us.
In verses 1-4, Paul encourages Christians at Philippi to be united. How so? By sharing with each other, showing compassion for each other, loving each other, being humble enough to value others more than yourselves, looking out for the interests of others more than your own interests. Then Paul writes the familiar verses 5-11:
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
“Who, being in the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather he made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-11, NIV)
This is not merely a striking reminder of the character and nature of Jesus, it’s a declaration that we should have the same character and nature when it comes to dealing with others. “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset of Jesus.” An important question this passage of scripture raises is whether we can acknowledge Jesus as Lord if we don’t have his mindset and become a servant to others.
So focus on Christ Jesus. Then focus on ourselves. Then focus on others.