It was from a jail cell in Rome that Paul wrote to the Philippian church and declared that he had the mind of Christ: “I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state” (Philippians 2:19).
This is the thinking, the outworking, of the mind of Christ. Think about it. Here was a pastor sitting in jail, yet he wasn’t thinking of his own comfort, his own hard situation. He was concerned only about the spiritual and physical condition of his people. And he told his sheep, “My comfort will come only when I know you’re doing well, in spirit and body. So I’m sending Timothy to check up on you on my behalf.”
Then Paul makes this alarming statement: “For I have no man like-minded, who will naturally care for your state” (2:20). What a sad statement! As Paul wrote this, the church around him in Rome was growing and being blessed. Clearly, there were godly leaders in the Roman church. But Paul says, “I have no man who shares with me the mind of Christ.” Why was this so?
“For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s” (2:21). Evidently, there was no leader in Rome with a servant’s heart—no one who had cast aside reputation and become a living sacrifice. Instead, everyone was set on pursuing his own interests. None had the mind of Christ. Paul could trust no one to go to Philippi to be a true servant to that body of believers.
Paul’s words here cannot be softened: “Everybody is out for himself. These ministers seek only to benefit themselves. That’s why nobody here can be trusted to naturally care for your needs and hurts—except Timothy.”
As we look around the church today, we see the same thing going on in many congregations. Ministers and parishioners alike are going after the things of this world: money, reputation, materialism, success. They are called to serve the Church of Jesus Christ, but they don’t know the mind of Christ. And Jesus’ mind-set is one of sacrifice, love and concern for others.