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In addition to pointing out the importance and benefits of being spiritually-minded, the apostle Paul had much to say about what true spirituality is. To the Christians in the ancient city of Corinth, Paul explained the difference between a physical man, that is, a person who follows the impulses of the flesh, and a spiritual man, a person who cherishes spiritual things. Paul wrote: “A physical man does not receive the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him.” On the other hand, Paul explained that the spiritual man is characterized by having “the mind of Christ.”—1 Corinthians 2:14-16. Having “the mind of Christ” basically means having “the same mental attitude that Christ Jesus had.” (Romans 15:5; Philippians 2:5) In other words, a spiritual man is one who thinks as Jesus does and walks in His footsteps. (1 Peter 2:21; 4:1) The more a person’s mind resembles that of Christ, the deeper his spirituality is and the closer he is to gaining “life and peace.”—Romans 13:14. How to Get to Know “the Mind of Christ” To have the mind of Christ, however, one must first know that mind. Therefore, the first step in developing spirituality is to get to know Jesus’ way of thinking. But how do you come to know the mind of someone who lived on earth 2,000 years ago? Well, how, for example, did you learn about the historical figures of your country? Likely by reading about them. Similarly, reading a written history of Jesus is an important way to get to know the mind of Christ.—John 17:3. In Jesus’ case, there are four vivid historical accounts—the Gospels written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Reading these accounts carefully will help you to perceive Jesus’ way of thinking, his depth of feeling, and the motivation behind his actions. When you take time to reflect on what you read about Jesus, you build a picture in your mind of the kind of person he was. Even if you already consider yourself a follower of Christ, such reading and reflection will help you to “go on growing in the undeserved kindness and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”—2 Peter 3:18. Jesus perfectly imitated his Father in everything he said and did. (John 14:9) Therefore, examining Jesus’ activities helps us to understand Jehovah’s way of thinking. (Rom. 15:5; Phil. 2:5) Let us, then, examine two Gospel accounts. 8 Imagine the scene. It was just before the Passover of 32 C.E. Jesus’ apostles had recently returned from a remarkable preaching tour throughout Galilee. Since they were tired from all this activity, Jesus took them to an isolated place on the northeast shore of the Sea of Galilee. However, thousands followed them there. After Jesus healed this multitude and taught them many things, a logistical problem arose. How could all these people get something to eat in such an isolated location? Realizing the need, Jesus asked Philip, who was from that area: “Where shall we buy loaves for these to eat?”—John 6:1-5. 9 Why did Jesus ask Philip this question? Was Jesus worried about what to do? No. What really was his thinking? The apostle John, who also was there, explains: “[Jesus] was saying this to test him, for he himself knew what he was about to do.” (John 6:6) Jesus here tested the spiritual progress of his disciples. By asking this question, he got their attention and gave them an opportunity to express their faith in what he could do. But they missed this opportunity and showed how limited their viewpoint really was. (Read John 6:7-9.) Jesus then went on to show that he could do something they had not even imagined. He miraculously fed those thousands of hungry people.—John 6:10-13. This account may help us to understand Jesus’ thinking on another occasion. Shortly after feeding this large group of people, Jesus and his apostles traveled north, beyond the borders of Israel, to the vicinity of Tyre and Sidon. While there, they met a Greek woman who begged Jesus to heal her daughter. At first, Jesus ignored the woman. But when she kept on insisting, Jesus said to her: “First let the children be satisfied, for it is not right to take the bread of the children and throw it to the little dogs.”—Mark 7:24-27. 11 Why did Jesus at first refuse to help this woman? Was Jesus testing her, as he did Philip, to see how she would react, giving her an opportunity to display her faith? His tone of voice, although not revealed in the written text, did not discourage her. His use of the term “little dogs” softened the comparison. So perhaps Jesus was acting like a parent who intends to grant a child’s request but withholds any outward sign of that intent in order to test out the child’s seriousness. Whatever the case, once the woman expressed her faith, Jesus willingly granted her request.—Read Mark 7:28-30. 12 These two Gospel accounts give us precious insight into “the mind of Christ
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