08 Jesus Style: No Reputation
What kind of reputation do want to have? What things do people know you for? Maybe they know you for something you do. People know I am a photographer, or that Geoff is an electrician. Maybe you are known for your personality? Being goofy or smart?
Scripture 1 - Paul writes a letter to the Christians of Philippi.
Philippians 2:5-8 In your relationships with one another, have the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had: Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing (no reputation) by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
1. Attitude of mind? Why do you think he specifically said mind and not just attitude? This is an internal attitude not just an external one. This is who we should be not just how we should act.
2. In very nature God. Essentially states He was God and had power the power of God within Him. What are some amazing things you can think of that God can do? Control the weather, shape the earth, the power to make life out of nothing.
3. Jesus had all of these same powers but chose to not use them! But what if he had? Even word of the small miracles he performed got around. People knew who Jesus was. He could have used that selfishly and become powerful the way humans want to be powerful. Money or financial power, political power, influence over others to get them to do what they want but for their own gain.
4. Instead it says he made himself nothing, he did not have a reputation the world would think was good.
So what reputation did He have??
Scripture 2 - Jesus is invited to dinner by a Pharisee. A woman who lived a sinful life as a prostitute came to see Jesus. She brought perfume and intended to wash Jesus's feet. As she kneeled before him she began to cry. She wet His feet with her tears and dried them with her hair, kissed them and put perfume on them.
Luke 7:39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is - that she is a sinner.
1. Why do you think the Pharisee was saying this? A good Pharisee would never have let a woman of such a bad reputation touch him because he had an image of purity to uphold.
Scripture 3 - Jesus was teaching a large crowd by a lake. He found Levi in a tax collectors booth and tells Levi to follow him and they head to Levi's house for dinner.
Mark 2:15-16 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi's house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with Him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?"
1. Why would being tax collector be so bad?
a. Jewish people viewed them as traitors since they were taking Jewish money and giving it to Rome. The Jews viewed the Romans as invaders who had no right to be there.
b. Tax collectors where not always honest, they would extort bribes and take more money than people owed for themselves.
c. They were known to be brutal and use physical intimidation.
2. Before he became a disciple Matthew was a tax collector.
3. Instead of having a reputation for being handsome or rich or powerful which is what the world considers a good reputation what did Jesus have a reputation for?
a. Hanging out with the sinners. The outcasts, the criminals, traitors, prostitutes, the poor, the diseased.
In Paul's letter to the church in Philippi he says to have the same attitude of mind that Christ Jesus had. Jesus understood that his life here on earth was temporary and that he was working toward God's eternal kingdom. Like Christ we do not need to hold on to anything that would guarantee our success in this world. Our reputations and possessions here on earth don't matter. The only reputation we should be have is one that reflects our relationship with Jesus Christ. People should know that we are Christians before they know anything else about us.
1. What are some ways you can create a reputation for being a Christian?
2. What are some things that are important to your reputation that you could let go of?
3. How do you think letting go of these things and instead being like Jesus, who did not care about reputation, can change your life for the better?