What Went Through His Mind?
I have to admit, sometimes being a follower of Christ is a real
challenge. Do you ever feel that way? I don't remember our youth
leaders telling us that our walk with Christ was going to be a slow
crawl to perfection. Somehow it seemed that being a new creation
would be instantaneous. So here we are, approaching the end of
another Lenten season and I don't know about you, but I am still
waiting for my Christlikeness to really take shape.
Apparently this plague hits all Christians, otherwise why would Paul
have written so many words of encouragement? What did Paul advocate
as a cure for what ails us? He said to "Let the same mind be in you
that was in Christ Jesus." Can you believe it? That's asking quite a
lot from us sinful humans; to have the mind of God as our goal. How
do we know what goes through God's mind? His thoughts are not our
thoughts - He said so Himself!
Ha! Take that, Paul. It can't be done. Oh, wait a minute; he didn't
say have the mind of God. He said the mind of Christ Jesus. He was
God and man, and as a man he had the same experiences that we have.
He had the same range of emotions, the same sensations and
capabilities and limitations. He just didn't let them control him
like we do. instead of letting our emotions, sensations,
capabilities, and limitations lead us, we are to let the mind of
Christ lead us.
The key word there is let. As in allow yourself to be led by the mind
of Christ; a mind that thought up the universe, but was also willing
to put aside his rights and privileges in order to experience
something truly remarkable - life and death. So if that's the mind we
aspire to have, the attitude we need to adopt, then we had better
figure out how we need to react like Jesus reacted to the events of
life. We need to study his life very closely if we would follow in
First there was the mystery of how Jesus became Jesus. He existed
before he was born. Pretty sure none of us can say that. Paul said
though he was in the form of God, he didn't consider that something
he couldn't part with for a while. So he emptied himself. Rest
assured, Jesus' earthly life and human self were the real deal. It
wasn't because he had the power of God that he could act human. He
was human, and he was humble.
Part of the reason why Jesus told us we would have to deny ourselves
in order to be disciples is because in order to be our true selves we
have to deny ourselves. God cannot contradict himself, so Jesus was
who God is - always. His actions were God's actions, his reactions
were God's reactions. He was led by God and so should we be.
Do you ever wonder what went through his mind when they were shouting
"Hosanna"? When Judas kissed him? When the disciples fled? When
they whipped him? When Peter denied him? When they shouted, "Crucify
him"? When they placed thorns on his head? When they put the nails
through his hands and feet? When they taunted a dying man? When a
dying man taunted him?
So how will we react when it's our turn? To be betrayed by a friend.
Or let down by a family member. Or ridiculed. Or hurt. Or rejected.
Or left alone in a time of crisis. How will we react when the
opportunity comes to be humble and set aside all thoughts of
privileges or entitlements or rights in order to do something worthy
of the glory of God?
Are you going to let the mind that was in Christ Jesus be in you - and
remain in you? Or would you like to revert back to a state of
resentment or hostility or an attitude of feeling put out or put upon
or put in your place? There is glory coming for you, in the end. You
don't have to have it now. It doesn't have to come from human hands.
That's empty praise. It fades. Jesus played for an audience of one.
So should you.
K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.
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