March 23rd, 2023
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20:28 NLT
Ten of the disciples of Jesus were angry with the other two disciples—James and John. They were angry because their mother had asked Jesus, “In your Kingdom, please let my two sons sit in places of honor next to you, one on your right and the other on your left” (Matthew 20:21). Further, James and John went along with their mother’s request. They told Jesus that they were able to meet the requirements for the positions she sought for them, they were able to drink from “the bitter cup of suffering” Jesus said they must be able to drink from (Matthew 20:22-23).
The disciples were angry with the two because of their sneaky attempt to step over the rest in the hierarchy of the Kingdom of God. In order to quell the dispute, Jesus revealed the true meaning of leadership in the Kingdom. In the kingdoms of the world, leaders are served by their underlings. In contrast, in the Kingdom of God leaders must serve those they lead. He said, “But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave.” (Matthew 20:26-27).
No doubt, Jesus’ description of leadership in the Kingdom gave pause to the disciple’s dispute. Leadership in the Kingdom wasn’t what they thought it would be. They should have known better. They should have known because Jesus himself reflected the true meaning of leadership. As our verse for today makes clear, Jesus came to earth to serve, not to be served. As the Apostle Paul put it, He “gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form.” (Philippians 2:7).
Think about Jesus the next time you think you would like to be somebody great in the Kingdom of God. Think about Jesus when your selfish ambition gets the better of you. It’s not what you think it will be. True leadership is self-sacrificial service. Jesus even washed the feet of the disciples to prove the point. (John 13).
And, ultimately, His service to others led to Him giving his life for them.
Inspirational Image of the Day