Philippians 2 – Have This In Mind

In this chapter, we learn that the church at Philippi had sent one of their members, Epaphroditus, to minister to Paul’s needs while he was in prison ( verses 25-30). But Epaphroditus became gravely ill (with what, we do not know) and had not returned to them. Furthermore, it has been long enough that word had gotten back to the brethren at Philippi of their brother’s illness. So Paul is sending him back (probably with this letter).

Philippi forum

Philippi forum

He also lets them know that he plans to send Timothy to see them. They would be familiar with Timothy, as he was with Paul and Silas when they first arrived in Philippi a decade or so before. We know from Philippians 1:1 that Timothy assisted Paul in writing this letter – likely acting as Paul’s “secretary.”

In the first chapter of this letter, Paul wrote to them about some brethren who (in light of his imprisonment) were preaching the gospel out of envy, rivalry, and selfish ambition. Now he urges the Philippian brethren to do nothing from selfish ambition, but to “count others more significant than yourselves.” It is in this context that he then wrote what is in verses 5-8 – a passage familiar to many of us:

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

Philippi Basilica A

Philippi Basilica A

So what did Paul mean when he told them to “have this in mind…?” The same thing that Jesus meant when he gave his disciples an important lesson before the Passover Feast in John 13:1-17. Washing their feet, he told them that, as servants and as messengers of the one who sent them, they are not “greater” than He. They must learn to serve others as he has done.

Jesus gave up everything to come here as a man to die for a purpose. We must keep that in mind in our daily lives, living life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ – knowing that our purpose is to serve others, edifying our brethren, and bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to those outside the gospel.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

Job 29 – A King Among His Troops

Grove of olive trees at Bethany

Grove of olive trees at Bethany

Chapter’s 29-31 make up Job’s last speeches. In this one, Job remembers how happy he was before all of these troubles began. He looks back longingly to those days, believing that God was with him then – and that such is no longer the case (verses 2-5). In verse 6, he remembers “when my steps were washed with butter, and the rock poured out for me streams of oil.” This is likely a reference to his great wealth, which included much cattle and olive groves.

Job fondly remembers that he had his own place at the city gate (always the gathering place for the important men of a city in those days). He was respected and deferred to by the young men as well as the old – and even the nobles and princes (verses 7-10). His thoughts and opinions were valued, and many sought his counsel. He then spends some time remembering how he helped the poor, the orphans, the lame, and those who were oppressed by the unrighteous.

As he speaks of all of these things, he does not do so in a manner that is boastful or vain. And he does not long for such times simply because he longs for the respect of his station in life. Job was happy in those time because of the good that he was able to do to others. We were made to serve to serve God, and to serve our fellow-man. Of the things that he has lost, being deprived of his health and his wealth, as well as being held in disdain and shunned by others has cost him something much more dear. Job has been deprived of his ability to serve, and he knows what many of us never learn. We are happiest when we serve others.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.