But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. Matthew 23:11 (KJV).
The paradox in the title for our reflections above is so glaring that it would be very difficult to just gloss over without pausing a moment to give a thought to it.
Indeed, such a statement would usually and very easily catch the attention of most people. This is because, in the fallen state in which we find our world, it is a very rare thing to come across a person who could accurately possess such qualities of being a servant and at the same time a leader. Most of what we see happening around us are leaders who want to be worshiped and demand the praises of the people.
These are people set in high places who believe that their word is final, who are quick to justify bad behavior, and are not open to correction or show any remorse for their faults or shortcomings.
Leaders who do not want to take responsibility, cannot bring themselves to be accountable and the sad thing is that we find this happening big time in the church as well. It is such leaders or leadership that Jesus during His ministry on earth always exposed for their evil practice and Jude 1:12 does a good job at explaining or characterizing such leaders. “These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots.” (KJV).
This way of leadership was exactly what Jesus came to change, and He gave us the key solution on how to correct our thinking and perception of the whole aspect of leadership; this is what our Bible verse for today is all about.
Therefore, our Bible verse states that to be a leader we have to first be the servant of all. No one can effectively bear the leadership mantle if their sole intent is not to first serve the people for whom they have been given such responsibility.
Now we may be looking or pointing our fingers at others, those we think have been put in authority over us, and thinking this word is only meant for them. However, it may surprise us to know that every one of us is a leader in one respect or another. This is because as children of God we who are the called-out ones, separated to show forth the Glory of God, have been called unto our God as kings and Priests (Revelation 1:6 and 1 Peter 2:9).
God our Father created each one of us with a specific purpose and assignment, and He intends that we reign and lead in that area or mountain of influence that He has given us to take charge over. That is why Jesus before He went to the cross told each of us to “occupy until He comes back,” (Luke 19:13), and that place of occupancy is meant to be a place or position of authority.
The questions to ask ourselves then are: Have we found that place /position of our calling or what we are called to function in? If yes, how have we been leading and functioning in that place/position? Are we demonstrating the qualities of a servant leader or are we bossy lords and masters over all?
More importantly, we must know that Jesus Himself never came to the world to be served, or Lord it over us. Rather He came to serve mankind and did that all the way to the cross. (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45 & John 13:1-17). Therefore, let us emulate the greatest Servant Leader of all time, He is Jesus our Savior and King.
When we yield ourselves to God by following the example of Jesus as a servant leader, only then would we be able to fully and successfully accomplish all that God has called us to walk and function in.
Ebimobo W. Obasi
PLEASE PRAY ALONG:
A Prayer to Serve Others.
FATHER GOD, the world sees service as unimportant, but Your Word proclaims that the greatest people serve others. I choose to trust what Your Word says over what the world does. Jesus was the best model of service, He was the greatest Servant Leader of all time. Father, please help me to be just like Jesus. In JESUS MIGHTY NAME AMEN.