Passion and Palm Sunday
Text: Philippians 2:5-11
Title: Individuality and Christian character
Introduction: Analysis of blood type
The people with blood type O are, in general, very sensitive to the primitive human desires. They are simple and linear. However, they are very loyal to their friendship. In a sense they are like American Indian. The people with blood type A are, in general, like a part in the machine. They need an organization. In an organization they work very well, but out of the organization they feel unsafe. The people with blood type B are like wind. They are, in general, anti-organization. They tend to break down traditions and institutions. They think they are very smart and act as they know everything. The people with blood type AB are not interested in the primitive human desires. In general, they are very interested in justice. They are willing to fight for social justice and the order of the universe. They are smart and intelligent.
Each person has its own individuality that is very peculiar and unique to that person just like blood type. This individuality is inherent and, in fact, an essential part of a human being. In the text the apostle encourages the Philippians for that 'Christian character' substitute for individuality.
Verse 5:"Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus." NASB
Attitude is phroneite in Greek, which means mind, something essential one inside human being. The apostle is talking about the particular mind of Christ Jesus. And he expects that that particular mind be found inside each member of the Philippian church. Whereas individuality is for an individual, this particular mind is for the church as a whole. Therefore, this particular mind is to be called 'Christian character.' 'Christian character' is unique and vital nature of Christian church for its very existence.
In verse 7, the particular mind of Christ Jesus is well depicted. It is to empty (ekenosen) essence (morphe) of being and to take lower essence for the others.
Application and conclusion
Passion of Jesus starts with empting His essence inherent. We are about to celebrate 'The Passion Week.' How is the passion of Christ relevant to our church as well as an individual Christian? By virtue of His passion, we are forgiven and justified before God. However, the passion of Christ continues to affect the people of God. The saved should empty himself or herself. In other words, each member of the Christian church should lay down his or her individuality and take 'Christian character.' At least individuality cannot precede 'Christian character' that is essential for any Christian community alive.
How many times do we attribute the lack of 'Christian character' to the inherent individuality? Whenever my individuality hurts brother or sister's emotion, I have to admit my lack of Jesus-like mind and recognize that this lack might endanger the very existence of the Christian church because, as the living organism, the Christian church cannot live without its mind.