From the Pulpit: What did Jesus do?

Pastor Randy Battey, Brandon Valley Baptist Church

For quite a while it was common to see people wearing bracelets that had the letters WWJD on them. We all know that stood for, “What Would Jesus Do?” This month I want to challenge us with a different, but related, question, “What Did Jesus Do?”  Jesus responded to every day issues and circumstances in ways that sometimes didn’t seem to make sense but they weren’t normal human responses. How do we learn to respond the way that Jesus did to the issues and circumstances we face every day of our lives?  

It’s one more step in our journey to be like Christ. How do we come to the point that we begin to respond as Jesus did? The answer is to develop the mind of Christ. In Romans 12:2 Paul calls it “renewing our minds.” That is our focus for the next few weeks.

We begin by answering the question, “What does a Christlike mind look like?” We are going to look at the characteristics that indicate that we have the mind of Christ, beginning with the characteristic of life.

Have you ever seen an opossum play possum?  It’s a fascinating response to danger. The opossum literally acts dead. You can’t see it breathing. You can poke it and prod it with absolutely no reaction. I remember one time we were helping a friend on his farm and came across an opossum that was playing possum. No matter what we did we couldn’t get it to move. So one guy grabbed it by the tail and tossed it out of the way. It kind of bounced a couple of times but still didn’t move.  t wasn’t until about five or 10 minutes later that opossum suddenly jumped up and took off running. It was alive but it acted dead.  

This study is for Christians who are playing possum. Look at how Ephesians 2:1-3 describes our condition before we were saved. Verse 1 is in the past tense, “You were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked…”. He continues in the past tense in v.3, “among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind.” Spiritually dead is how we are described before Christ.

When we are in Christ we become spiritually alive. Romans 8:6 tells us “but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. In Christ we have life, and He tells us in John 10:10 that it is abundant life. The mindset on the Spirit is active, and occupied, and creative. When you see it in action and hear it in words you know that it is interacting with everything around it in a way that brings glory to God. It’s part of the new creation that God has made us into.  

The struggle is found in Romans 8:6, “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” We can choose which mind we will follow. Paul uses the phrase “the mind set on.” The Greek word talks about a process of thoughtful planning leading to purposeful results. In other words, it isn’t an accident if we set our minds on the flesh.  It isn’t normal or natural for us to think that way anymore. It’s something that we purposefully plan to do. In the same way it isn’t an accident if we choose to set our minds on the Spirit. Again, it’s a purposeful choice that we make.  

Every day we have these two mindsets and these two ways of thinking set in front of us. We choose whether we are going to look at things, and interpret things, according to our old nature, or whether we are going to choose to see the world through the framework of the mind of Christ.  

When we choose the old nature. we are playing possum. We are alive in Christ, but we choose to live as we did when we were spiritually dead. It’s an active planned choice that we make.  

When we choose to set our minds on the Spirit everything we do changes. Life is measured by activity. The mind set on the Spirit exudes life. We breathe Christ. We eat God’s Word. We respond the way that Jesus responded. When faced with a choice the mind of Christ always chooses the way of spiritual life.  

What did Jesus do? He had His mind continually set on the Spirit. When we do that we find life and peace.


The Brandon Valley Journal


The Brandon Valley Journal
1404 E. Cedar St.
Brandon, SD 57005
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