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Having the Mind of Christ

00:00 / 14:09

24 Mar 2024

Sixth Sunday in Lent

Phil. 2:5-11, Mark 15:1-39


Phil. 2 gives theological and spiritual window onto Christ’s passion. Asks us not only to be part of the crowd that hails him but to stand with him in his loneliness, humility, obedience.

Context of Phil. 2

-       Paul seeks unity and healing of division. How best to achieve? Consider example of Christ.

-       v. 5 ‘Have this mind among yourselves…’ – (phroneite), think in this way, have this attitude, ponder upon this.

-       What is my attitude like? Is it submitted to Christ?

-       ‘…which is yours in Christ Jesus.’ Theological comparison. This is God’s grace. Can you be gracious too?

o   Economic metaphor. Someone makes you rich. Can you be generous with your riches?

What is God’s grace like?: The Incarnation and Passion

-       Incarnation: from God to God and man. ‘…though he was in the form of God, he did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, and being found in the likeness of men…’ (2:6-7)

-       God took flesh in Christ. Entered the experience of humanity.

-       How did Christ empty himself? Not of divinity but rightful privilege and honour.

-       Impossible to conceive. But imagine divine love in taking pain of human life.

-       Passion: ‘And being found in human form he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross’. (2:8)

-       Obedience and humility linked: Why? Obedience humbles pride, displacement of my rights, acceptance of God’s way. Christ knew this.

-       Easier to understand. Mark 15:1-39. What did Christ’s obedience mean? Total humiliation: to be bound, accused, charged, misrepresented, rejected by the same crowd which had hailed, victimised, mocked, struck, spat upon, stripped, crucified, forsaken.

-       Paul: consider this and apply to the Church, to your life.

o   Disagreements in the church between Euodia and Syntyche (Phil. 4:2). ‘Agree in the Lord’. Are you in broken fellowship with another Christian in this church or another? Do not go through this Holy Week without making amends and seeking reconciliation.

o   Are you holding back forgiveness from someone, friend, family member, member of the Church? Humility is needed to be obedient. Offer forgiveness during this holy time.

o   Are you facing temptation to compromise and be disobedient to God’s way? Perhaps obedience may mean disadvantage or rejection. Reject the braying crowd and join Christ in his humility, suffer loss for him. This too will take humility.

-       Obedience of Christ a mountain, yours a foothill. Look what he endured in obedience to God and love for you. Can you not respond to God’s calling also?


-       We will get to Easter, to the glory that comes after humility: ‘Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name’ (Phil. 2:9). But let’s stay with Christ in his passion for a time.

-       Crowd offers appearance of safety, but later shame. Christ offers humility now and glory afterwards.

-       As we enter Holy Week, let us embody its message in our attitude and actions in life.


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