Art Toombs Ministries

Online Bible Commentary

The Greatest are the Least 

Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 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. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 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, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (NKJV)

 




The Apostle Paul continues his letter to the believers at the church at Philippi. These are God’s words to Christians. 

The phrase translated “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit” literally, in the Greek, reads “nothing according to rivalry or self-glory.” (v.3). So we should not have rivals or seek self glory. 

This does not mean that Christians should not be competitive. When we do our best, we glorify Christ. But we should not think of our competition as enemies or seek to glorify ourselves. End zone celebrations come to mind. Instead, we should humble ourselves and put others first, always glorifying Christ. 

Paul writes “look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (v.4). The words translated “look’ and “to” in this verse is the same word in the Greek. It is the word “skopeo” which means “to watch out for”. The Greek literally reads “not the things of themselves each looking at, but also the things of others each.” 

So we should not watch out just for our own interests, but we should also watch out for the interests of others. We should not disregard our own interests, though. If we do, we will become a burden to others. 

Christians should always strive to have the attitude of Christ. Christ, even though He was wholly God, became also wholly man and made Himself a servant to men, even to the point of giving His own life (v.5-8). As humans, we strive for the attitude of Christ by allowing His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, to work in and through us. 

Because of His obedience, the Father exalted Jesus so that one day all will bow before Him and worship Him (v.9-11). “For he who is least among you all – He is the greatest” (Luke 9:48). 

So as we strive to be Christ like, we must remember His humility. In God’s book, you are the greatest when you make yourself the least.