Renouncing the Mind of Satan
First Published in 2015
Robert Wurtz II
And there also arose a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest. And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ “But it shall not be so among you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant.” (Luke 22:24-26 NASB/KJV)
The disciples quarreled over which of them Jesus regarded as the greatest. The context revealed an outlook that says greatness equals authority. Jesus corrected their error by equating greatness with servanthood. Even though the disciples were Jews and more or less knew the Mosiac Law, they were a product of this present evil world where Satan functions as the don.
Jesus said that the kings of the Gentiles lord over the people. God never wanted Israel to have a king like that. So he was their king and ruled the people from the Mercy Seat through the priesthood. God knew that fallen men, moving in the spirit of Satan, would not exercise their authority correctly. History is replete with abuse of power and control, and when Israel finally got a human king, they proved to be no different. However, the kingdom of God does not function like this present evil world and its Satan-like outlook. Therefore, Jesus commanded the Disciples and all future generations, it shall not be so among you.
The Mind in Satan
The chief motivation of Satan is pride. We learn this explicitly in the pastoral epistles, where Paul wrote, “If someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.” (1 Timothy 3:5–6 ESV emphasis added) What was Paul referencing? Most likely, it was Isaiah:
How art you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how are you cut down to the ground, which weaken the nations! For you said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will also sit upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet you will be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. (Isaiah 14:12-15)
Notice Satan’s thoughts, “I will ascend, I will exalt myself, I will also sit upon the mount,” I will be like the most High. Satan sows these thoughts like seeds into the minds and hearts of prospective leaders. Once these seeds germinate and start growing, there is no telling what evil will result. Consider the Pharisees who plotted to kill Jesus. They loved the chief seats (I will sit), and they loved to be called “Rabbi, Rabbi” (I will exalt). Jesus asked them, How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only? (John 5:44 KJV)
Satan works to infiltrate the churches of God by controlling the meaning of the word leadership. He has many slick methods that masquerade as “Christian” but are little more than basic business principles. However, leadership in most cases centers on the Greek word προΐστημι which carries the sense “to lead” but in New Testament contexts also means “to care for.” Caring was the obligation of leading members of the infant Church (TDNT).
Jesus had to straighten out the disciples in this regard because the world had penetrated their minds. The call of the disciple is not to the pride of exalted status but to humility and servanthood. Therefore He said, the greatest among you shall be the one who is serving you. Yet it’s not enough to call oneself a servant because one is familiar with Jesus’ teaching on this topic. Labeling in this way is another scheme of satan.
The Mind in Christ
Jesus Christ is the Son of God from all eternity. He is the second person of the Godhead and recipient of the perpetual worship of the Cherubim. He knows what it is to be God. He knew what it was like to create the Universe. And yet He chose a means of defeating Sin, Satan, and his angels that stagger the mind. He did it through the humiliation of the cross.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and cbeing made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:5-8)
We can’t grasp the humiliation of crucifixion. It was the lowest form of degradation reserved for slaves, criminals, and enemies of the state. German professor Martin Hengel’s work Crucifixion in the Ancient World and the Folly of the Message of the Cross is regarded as one of the greatest works on the subject. It lays out the utter horror and disgrace involved. Saving the world this way was utterly foolish to the ancient world. The cross was barbaric and cruel, obscene in the original repulsive sense of the word. And yet Jesus Christ, the Son of God, humbly endured such inhumane treatment.
Let This Mind Be in You
While Satan is saying in himself, I will ascend, I will exalt, I will also sit upon the mount, I will be like the most High; Jesus Christ was saying and doing; I will descend; I will condescend to man; I will humble myself unto death and even the death of the cross. That is the most incredible contrast our finite minds can conceive, and yet we are told, let this mind be in you. To accomplish this, we must renounce Satan’s ambitious and power-hungry mind.
Let the mind of Satan be replaced with the mind of Christ. So Jesus said to the people that the Gentiles’ kings lord it over them; those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ “But it shall not be so among you.” They are of this world system, but Christ was of the Kingdom of God. In the beginning, the disciples were moving in the mind of Satan, but Christ came to teach the way of God.
He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself… (John 13:4-10)
The Kingdom of God is not a multilevel corporation. It’s not a Gentile business model. Yet, here are these disciples arguing over who will be in charge, and here was their Master pouring water into a basin and washing the disciples’ feet. Their Zionist hopes of sitting on the right hand and the left were dashed to pieces. Jesus Christ was not here to set up a Kingdom where they could be His generals; He was here to show the true example of life for all the human race to rise and heed. This is God’s mind, and we must be like-minded.