Philippians 2:5-7 —
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
What a simple command: “have this mind.” But nothing is harder for fallen human beings like you and me than to make ourselves nothing.
We are like Jesus’ disciples who, just hours before deserting him at Gethsemane, engaged in a debate over which of them was the greatest.1 We think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think.2 We covet and cannot obtain, so we fight and quarrel.3 We grasp at greatness because we covet the glory of being great in the eyes of others.
But that was not Jesus’ mind. Jesus’ mind was to seek the Father’s glory, not his own.4 The Son had one concern: to always do what was pleasing to the Father.5 His complete disposition toward the Father was “not as I will, but as you will.”6 And among us, he “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”7
The Son did not grasp at glory. Instead, he humbled himself under the Father’s mighty hand, knowing that the Father would exalt him at the proper time.8 Even the glory that he knew he would receive from the Father would glorify the Father.9 The Son had no desire for glory apart from the Father, for there is no glory apart from the Father. “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”10
The Mind Jesus Wants Us to Have
This is the mind Jesus wants us to have: to long for and live for the Father’s glory and not our own. Ironically, only those who have this mind will experience lasting exaltation.11 But this exaltation will have humility at the core, not pride. Because it will be the Father, who has given us everything,12 exalting us. And when he does it will be his glory that shines.