Topic: No Entitlement
Text: Philippians 2:5-7
Key Verse: He always had the nature of God, but he did not think that by force he should try to remain equal with God. – Philippians 2:6
The word entitlement is defined in the dictionary as the feeling that you have the right to do or have what you want without having to work for it or deserve it, just because of who you are. Jesus was God while on earth but he never considered it anything to contend for.
Jesus at twelve knew his mission, was walking in wisdom above that of the teachers of his time giving him influence more than his parents, yet he went back to submit himself to them.
So Jesus went back with them to Nazareth, where he was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. – Luke 2:51
We don’t have so much record about the childhood of Jesus but for his mother to have required him to find a solution at the wedding feast in Cana implies that he must have had testimonies of the miraculous provision in his life and Mary knew he could fix the problem.
When the wine had given out, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They are out of wine.”You must not tell me what to do,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.” – John 2:3-4
Jesus knew the power he had but he never flaunted it. Even the devil knew it and tried to make him use it for selfish reasons but he overcomes it.
Jesus knew he could command anything and anyone to do his bidding but he chooses to pray for the father’s will to be done.
And he withdrew himself into the wilderness and prayed. – Luke 5:16
“Father,” he said, “if you will take this cup of suffering away from me. Not my will, however, but you will be done.” – Luke 22:42
Even when it was difficult in human flesh to do the will of God, Jesus could have excused himself or even considered an alternative route to the cross, but he chose to live in submission to the Father.
Don’t you know that I could call on my Father for help, and at once he would send me more than twelve armies of angels? – Matthew 26:53
I could give more examples of ways in which Jesus could have manifested his right and equality with God, but he chose to lay it down. This mindset is not natural with a man not even after the new birth. It is a mindset that you seek and pursue. It grows as Christ is magnified in you.
As believers in Jesus, we struggle with submission to our parents, spouses leaders, and employers because we are blinded by our rights and privileges.
Many Christian leaders look for opportunities to remind those they lead of who they were in the world before coming to Christ and lead in the house of God like Lords and Masters rather than as Christ modelled. (Mark 10:42-44)
I, your Lord and Teacher, have just washed your feet. You, then, should wash one another’s feet. I have set an example for you so that you will do just what I have done for you. – John 13:14-15
The mind of Christ is selfless, humble, and not self-promoting.
I am not speaking of low self-esteem or timidity, neither am l encouraging mediocrity in leadership, rather l am pointing us to a higher mindset, where you willingly lay down your rights for the good of others, the mission, or the kingdom of God.
This mindset will put you in a position where you will receive insults and endure hardship but like Jesus, you would not fight back.
“He was treated harshly, but endured it humbly; he never said a word. Like a lamb about to be slaughtered, like a sheep about to be sheared, he never said a word. – Isaiah 53:7
Why would anyone desire this mindset? Why should anyone pay such a huge price? As we study the life of Christ and the outcome of his choices, it will become glaring as the best option.
May the Lord grant us grace to make this mindset our motivation in Jesus’ name.
After a life of suffering, he will again have joy; he will know that he did not suffer in vain. My devoted servant, with whom I am pleased, will bear the punishment of many and for his sake, I will forgive them. And so I will give him a place of honour, a place among the great and powerful. He willingly gave his life and shared the fate of evil men. He took the place of many sinners and prayed that they might be forgiven.” – Isaiah 53:11-12
We are beneficiaries of this mindset in Jesus, may the Lord deepen your understanding of this truth in Jesus’ name as we continue in our quest to possess the winning mindset. Amen.