“I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly…For I have no one like-minded…all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel.” (Philippians 2:19-22)
This passage is an inspiring template for me. I desire to be as Timothy, a proven and trusted “like-minded one” sent and entrusted with mission. I also desire to be a leader like Paul, who grows kindred sons in the faith.
The word of caution here is a sobering one: All seek their own, not the things which are of Christ. I don’t want to be found here, ever.
Paul and Timothy are a microcosm of the global expression of Father and Jesus. The perfectly like-minded Son, exact representation of God, was sent on a mission. “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which you have given me to”, Jesus said to His Father. Then he prays for the sons that served alongside of Him: “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” (John 17:4,18)
“Serving sons” become fathers in the faith.
Jesus already was a serving Son, but humankind needed an “Adam” to flesh it out for us. He was a living, unfolding, dramatization of how a son serves with his father. The only reason any of us can be Christ-like at all is because, “The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” (1 Cor.15:45)
It is “Christ in me” that powers my sonship.
Being a “sent one” is not without risk. We are sons and daughters on a mission in hostile waters. The parable in Matthew’s gospel (Ch.21) illustrates the danger. A certain landowner who planted a vineyard sent his servants to collect the fruit from the vine-dressers. They were mistreated until the owner decided to send his own son. “Surely they will respect my son”, he thought.
When the wicked men saw the son, they conspired, “This is the heir. Let’s kill him and seize his inheritance.” The enemy conspires still today, seeking to plunder the inheritance of the heirs. (That’s you and me.) His aim is to mar and taint any representation of Christ in the earth.
God will send His Son again. The owner of the vineyard will return to the planet to settle accounts. The epilogue to the parable testifies to the futility of the enemy’s scheme.
“The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone…whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.” (Matt.21:42,44)
As living stones we have a portion in the Cornerstone. We are “kindred spirit” with the “Apostle and High Priest of our confession.” (Hebrews 3:1) Like Jesus we will be rejected; like Jesus we will rule and reign, both in this age and the age to come.
Such is the privilege of the “like-minded.”