Paul talked about us putting other’s needs first in our lives, even above our own, then in Philippians 2:5 he begins the focus on how Jesus is the ultimate example for us to follow in living our lives together. No one puts 16 mindsothers ahead of themselves like Jesus did. So Paul calls us all to have the same mind or to think the same way or to have the same attitude as Jesus had.

I like to point out that in many ways the church has taken Jesus as an example and not as a savior. Whereas they may readily accept the value Jesus brought in living a sacrificial life they reject the supernatural element of His death on the cross for our sins, his literal burial and resurrection from the dead and how through faith in this we too can find eternal life. Jesus was simply a good person, a great teacher, and a wonderful moral example for us to follow. Islam even teaches that Jesus was a great example. Jesus is believed to be another of the old prophets who was an example of how to live in a good way. However, if one looks at Jesus’ own statements about himself, you found he was much more than simply a good example. In John 3:16-18 we read, ““For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” Then in 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.” Jesus is more than an example, he is the Savior! One writer said if you’re drowning in the ocean, you don’t need someone to stand on the shore and make swimming motions with his arms while yelling, “go like this!” No we need someone to jump in, like Jesus did, and save us!

We all need a savior, but let’s not forget that Jesus did come to set an example for us to follow after we have come to faith in Him as our Savior. He even said as much after washing the disciple’s feet in the upper room before the last supper. He said, “I have set an example for you to follow” (John 13:15). Christ’s example for us was not only in washing the disciple’s feet but it was His entire life. We are to do what he did, but we’re also to think like he thought. The word “mind” here does not mean mental activity or intellectual process. It means attitude. The most important way to maintain the unity of relationships, whether in marriage, family, or church is to have the same attitude that Christ had. As everyone knows sacrifice is fundamental to unity. Everyone cannot always have their own way. Someone has to give. Richison writes, “Jesus was willing to spend and be spent for us. He qualifies as the greatest example of lowliness of mind. He followed the path of utter selflessness. He gave himself to the greatest of degradations—a criminal’s death. … If Jesus regarded no sacrifice too great, no humiliation too painful, should not we have this sacrificial attitude toward fellow Christians?”