Have you ever seen the show “Undercover Boss”? My kids recently found that they have a YouTube channel and they have been going back and watching all of the old episodes. They love to see the big reveal at the end when the employees learn they were working with their boss undercover.
The CEO or big whig of the company will work in all different level jobs in their enterprise across North America. They learn a lot about the people who work for them and how things really are “in the trenches”.
In the end, they expose who they are and what their purpose had been. They also shed light on those who were excelling and those who were not doing their job so hot. The faithful are generously rewarded.
So, this is what Jesus did like times 1,000. He left a perfect heaven where He is Lord and came to this earth,where sin reigns, as a tiny baby in order to know us, serve us, love us and ultimately die for us.
This is worthy of some respect! And, someday, He will return to reward the faithful and punish the wicked. I just couldn’t help but see the parallel as we watched these shows.
I think Philippians 2:1-11 is a great living example of Jesus showing what our Undercover Boss expects of us. So, when I broke it down, this is what I saw.
” Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. “Philippians 2:1-2
“Any consolation in Christ” and “comfort in love” means if you have experienced the great love of Christ through salvation and now have the fellowship of the Holy Spirit living within you, this is a plea to summon that great affection and mercy to Live Like Christ. See it’s impossible to try and live like Christ if you have not been joined to Him by salvation through faith.
Second, it is Unity with Believers. He mentions having the same mind, same love, being of full accord. And then he says “one mind” again, that means it’s pretty important. In verse 5, we are told that mind is to be “the mind of Christ”. This is that we as believers are to be united with the same purpose and mission. When we look at John 17, we see that before Jesus was crucified, he prayed specifically for believers to have unity!
““I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:20-21
So what is this mind of Christ that leads to unity with other believers?
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”Philippians 2:3-4
Selfish ambition is pulling others down. Conceit is putting yourself on top. Both come from a place of pride. This is an attitude that says things like, “no one deserves better than me”, “I should be praised for all I do instead of them”, “if I don’t look out for me no one will”, “how dare they say, do, or think that about me.” The opposite of both is humility where you put others first out of love and hope for the best for them, even if it has to be at your expense.
And Jesus Christ put it this way:
“For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”Luke 14:11
How did Jesus show that He was truly humble?
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.”Philippians 2:5-7
Jesus had every right to claim superiority over the human race. He was after all fully God in the flesh as the text tells us. He was there in the beginning with God (John 1) and new all about the sin and shame. But, He chose to take on our likeness and come to serve us and show us an example. In Mark 9:35, Jesus says “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” And we are showed the greatest example of all when on the night before his death, Christ takes the full role of a human servant and washes his disciples feet.
This takes a little context. First, feet can be yucky, sweaty, and stinky. I actually don’t like to touch anyone’s feet except those closest to me. People with foot fetishes really creep me out. I digress. The people at this time only wore sandals which means their feet would get dirty and probably have cuts. And Jesus offers to wash them!! He dresses like a servant, taking off His outer robe and tying a towel around His waist. He scrubs His disciples’ feet and uses the towel around His waist to dry them off. This is definitely a close encounter with Jesus.
Jesus could have demanded to be served, but instead He said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” — Mark 10:45 I know we are spending a lot of time on this topic but really the role of a servant embodies the life of humility, service and unity that we are trying to see through Christ. Statistics actually show that people who serve others on a consistent basis are happier and healthier than those who don’t. (Source 1 at bottom )We were made to serve and not fulfilling our duty leads to sin and disunity with God and other believers.
“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. “Philippians 2:8
Jesus called himselft a servant and a servant’s job is to do the will of the master. This is the heart of the Father. He loved us so much that He sent His one and only Son to this earth to die the death of a criminal on our behalf. He took our sin and shame so we could be reconciled back to God. And Jesus, living in unity with the father, being the humble servant that he was, was obedient to the father’s plan to the point of death. Ultimately to live like Jesus means living a life of sacrifice! It means giving up your own agenda, ways, comfort, and preferences for the greater good. It’s not easy, it’s hard. It means to lose your life and dying to self in order to be obedient to the word of God.
WE SHARE IN HIS REWARD
“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”Philippians 2:9-11
Now please don’t misunderstand, all praise, honor, and adoration belong to Jesus Christ alone. But, His place in heaven with the Father means that we have hope of eternal life after death in heaven. See after he was placed in that tomb, He rose again! This is the victory that we share in, to live eternal and share in the glories of heaven. He is the best Undercover Boss and most graciously rewards His obedient servants. Just soak in the good news of these scriptures:
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.” Matthew 16:24-27
“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:16-18
Jesus left heaven for earth to fulfill his purpose. What do you need to leave behind to fulfill yours? He obeyed God to the point of death. What do you need to die to to be obedient? He conquered the grave so you could be set free from sin. How can you live like Jesus to show that you appreciate His sacrifice and are looking forward to sharing in His great reward?
8 Practical Ways to Start “Living Like Jesus”
1. Recognize your own helplessness and need before God.
2. Read the word daily.
3. Live a life of prayer, pray without ceasing.
4. Read biographies of great men and women of faith.
5. Find ways to start serving those around you, those in your church, and those who are hurting.
6. Obey God in EVERYTHING. Don’t hesitate, confess sin and say yes right away to His commands.
7. Expect God to answer and change you.
8. Praise God. He is after all the giver of every good thing. (James 1:17)