What is the mind of Christ? Or how can we know what His mind was and is? "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?" (Rom 11:33,34).
In the book of Psalms, we read the beautiful prophetic statement concerning the coming Messiah. "Lo, I come... to do thy will, O my God" (Psa 40:7,8). Then after "the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons" (Gal 4:4,5). We see the fulfillment of that prophecy in Heb 9 after it also reflects on the inadequacy of the law, "which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances." Then came the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world, of whom John the Baptist said, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
Christ’s only purpose for leaving the glories of heaven and condescending to this sin-sick world was to do the will of God the Father. That will was to fulfill all righteousness, as He told John at the scene of His baptism.
At twelve years of age, Jesus was already about His "Father's business" as He was in the temple amid the doctors, both hearing them and asking them questions. The mind of Christ was to seek and to save that which was lost. He demonstrated this by reaching to individuals such as Zacchaeus, a woman of Canaan, another woman who had an issue of blood twelve years, and a blind man who besought His touch. Jesus met each of these people's needs and many others also. In John 6:38, Jesus says, "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." Verse 40 says, "And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.“
Let us consider a few areas that expressly reveal the mind of Christ.
Christ Jesus, who was the express image of God's person, and who thought it not robbery to be equal with God, was willing to be made in the likeness of men. In Hebrews 2 we see that Jesus, verily, took on Himself the seed of Abraham and was made like unto his brethren. Oh, the great humility it took for Him to be made like us! And besides that, He took upon Him the form of a servant.
He was not only God's servant, but He came to minister to men and was among them as one who serves in a low and servile state. Practically all of His life was that of humiliation, lowliness, poverty, and rejection. He was laid in a manger, lived on alms, had nowhere to lay His head, rode a borrowed colt, and was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. This was the humiliation of His life. But the lowest step of His humiliation was His death on the cross. "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Phil 2:8).
All this He did voluntarily for our wellbeing.
“Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Heb 5:8,9).
Paul, in his letter to the Romans, makes the contrast between the one man (Adam) by whom sin entered the world (and death followed that act of disobedience, not only on himself but upon all men from that time on) and the obedience of one Man (Jesus), called "the gift by grace," which enables all people to live through Him. "For if by one man's offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ" (Rom 5:17). "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous" (Rom 5:19).
Again reflecting on the scene of the cross, just before the actual crucifixion, Jesus prayed, earnestly requesting with “strong crying and tears” that the cup of suffering might pass from Him. Let’s notice the MIND OF CHRIST as He so submissively added, “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” If it weren’t for Christ’s loving obedience, we would still be in a lost and hopeless state.
It behooves us to follow our Lord’s perfect example of obedience.
His Compassionate Love
Our Lord had a tremendous compassion for the lost sheep of the house of Israel, for strangers (Gentiles), for the in-betweens (Samaritans), for the poor, the lame, the blind, the lunatic, etc. Yes, He fed the multitudes also. The disciples of Jesus fell short on compassion when they rebuked those who brought little children to Him for prayer and a touch of blessing. Then Jesus said, "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. And he laid his hands on them" (Matt 19:14,15).
Oh what tender compassion our Lord revealed as he wept over Jerusalem and said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matt 23:37).
This reminded me of the prairie chicken which was a happy mother of her brood. But one day a fire swept the area, and she hovered over her young to save them from harm, and indeed they were safe, but she sacrificed her life for the cause. The chicks were found snuggled under her lifeless body.
Jesus was moved with compassion toward Mary, Martha, and Lazarus at the scene of Lazarus’ grave. Just before raising him from the dead, He groaned in His spirit and was troubled. Others saw Jesus as He wept. He was touched by the sorrow that His beloved friends, sisters to the dead, were experiencing. Thank God that He is being touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He knows over what we agonize.
The parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15 symbolizes compassionate love for a formerly rebellious son.
His Prayer Life
Jesus' prayer life revealed His oneness with the Father. John 17 contains what is known as Jesus' high priestly prayer. In this prayer, we see the great concern that lay in His bosom for His followers - for their protection from the evil of this world, for their faithfulness after He would be removed from them, and for their unity of faith.
Then Jesus also prayed for all believers in the future (including us in our present age) who would believe in Him through their teaching and preaching of the Word. The MIND OF CHRIST was to establish a unified body of believers in this present world who would prove to the world that God is real, that Jesus is the beloved Son of God.
Jesus also prayed for our safe arrival in glory where the mansions are prepared for the redeemed ones. His mind is to receive us into that most excellent glory where He dwells with the Father.
Moreover, the mind of Christ is so aptly and tenderly expressed in John 14 where He told His disciples not to allow their hearts to be troubled. He gave them the incentive to anticipate the many heavenly mansions that He is preparing for them, plus He assured them of His return to receive them into His eternal presence.
Jesus then promised to answer the prayers or requests which they should ask in His name, yes, "If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it" (John 14:14).
And lastly, He promised to pray the Father to send the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, that He would abide with them and us forever. Praise His Name!
As I ponder the MIND OF CHRIST and see that perfect desire accompanied with a perfect score in all these and many more areas, I feel rather feeble. However, it is a great privilege as Christians to have the mind of Christ revealed to us by His Spirit.
Paul, in his letter to the church at Corinth, says, "But we have the mind of Christ" (1Co 2:16).
We cannot have the mind of Christ without being born of the Spirit of God and therefore becoming spiritually minded. Chapter 8 of Romans is a wonderful deliberation on the subject of the carnal man versus the spiritual man. Some strong words and phrases are called to our attention. "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh, but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."
After calling to mind the sufferings of Christ and the likelihood of our suffering experiences in the future, the Apostle Peter exhorts us to "arm yourselves likewise with the same mind" (1Pe 4:1).
At the time of conversion is when new Christians receive the mind of Christ. The question may well be asked, “But does such a person receive the mind of Christ in its fullness?” I think not, but rather it’s a growing experience that maintains an openness to the Spirit of God, the Word of God, and the Church.
A few practical and pertinent questions we do well to consider in order to ascertain whether we have the mind of Christ.
Ten Questions to Consider
• Since I met Christ at the cross, have I subjected my will to His will?
• Am I crucified with Christ? Am I exemplifying in my body a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God?
• Do I express my love to Christ and His church by my faithful obedience?
• Am I a loving and compassionate person? Am I expressing it by reaching out to the poor, the underprivileged, and the discouraged?
• Is my spirit communicating with my Savior and Lord as I read His Word and pray?
• Do I joyfully serve when asked to teach a class or share a topic in a public service?
• Since Jesus laid down His life for us, am I willing to lay down my life for the brethren?
• Do I have my affections set on heavenly things? Where our treasure is, there will our heart be also.
• Jesus commissioned His disciples to go into all the world with the gospel. Am I actively engaged in witnessing for Him at home or abroad?
• Am I looking with anticipation for the return of the Bridegroom - my Lord Jesus Christ?
Our life by our choices reveals if we have the MIND OF CHRIST!