Philippians 1:15 – 2:4
How Jesus’ Story becomes My Story
Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection are the climax of the whole event of Jesus among us. Jesus’ followers realized that this great event changed their perception of everything and everyone, including God and themselves and all creation. The NT is the record of their explorations of what it means to live in a world with Jesus’ cross and resurrection.
Paul brought Jesus’ whole story to Philippi. Jews, Pagans, women, slaves, Roman veterans, were drawn into a community. There was violent reaction, beating, prison, release. Paul left for other cities. Now he’s in prison in Ephesus. Philippi sent help, but worried.
Paul describes his situation, expressing the way being in Christ (Anointed King) shapes life, death, calm before opponents, hope. He proclaimed a new emperor in a center of Roman power and doesn’t back down. He wants more boldness: To live is Christ.
The diverse believers in Philippi experience persecution. He wants them to stand firm,
but how? Everything they see around them says no. Paul moves from how his own life is shaped by Jesus to how their lives can experience the same power. The love that is the heart of Jesus – God’s self-giving love, our response in heart and action –becomes the lens that lets them see what really matters (1:9-10).