“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 emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
We see the call to think of others first taken further here as Paul charges us to have the mind of Christ. This is good news indeed! The ability to put others first, and count them as better than myself is not something that I can do on my own. Yet God has given us the mind of Christ as we see in 1 Corinthians 2:16. We have not only Christ’s example, but His new nature! Jesus was willing to suffer and obey unto death out of love for the Father. And in response God honored that obedience with exaltation, restoring Jesus to that place of authority.
It’s so beautiful to read the gospels and to look at Christ’s suffering. To remember all that He gave up for us, His compassion for those around Him, His teachings, His humanity. Like Hebrews 4 says, we do have a High Priest who can understand our weakness. Thank you Lord! But I’m so thankful that Jesus is no longer the suffering Savior, He is now our exalted King! That is good news that we desperately need to remember in these times. What does it mean to us to know that Christ has been glorified and exalted?
Firstly, it reminds us that no matter what is going on Jesus is in control. I don’t have to fear my outward circumstances because I am on the winning team. We also really need to align our hearts with that truth that He is in charge. So when we are tempted to focus on our comfort and our own agenda, we can remember that life is not about us. One day every tongue will confess His Lordship, so I want to start that proclamation now in my daily life.
Secondly, I can also rejoice because it’s in Christ’s exaltation and being seated before God that we can draw near to God. “Let us with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Heb 4:16 The whole point of our salvation is that we have been brought back to life and brought near to God again, no longer separated by our sin. And we know from John 14:15-18 that because Christ was exalted He sends His Spirit to dwell inside of us. We have His presence here with us, guiding us and teaching us and empowering us. We are called to intimacy with God, and Jesus’ exaltation allows us to stand pure before Him and begin to know Him through His Spirit.
Let’s stop and ask God to renew our mind after Christ in putting others first. Let’s also remember Christ’s authority and exaltation today. What areas of our daily lives do we need to surrender to His authority?
How can we draw near to Him and grow in intimacy with Him today?