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TODAY’S BIBLE READING:
TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
Mark 10:45 (CSB): “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
In a previous post that I titled, “Was Jesus Really Human?”, I pointed out that there are theological issues that demand that Jesus was not only fully God but also fully man. I also noted that while Jesus, in His humanity, ultimately came to make the sin payment for everyone who would trust in Him, it was also noted that there were multiple secondary issues, including that He provided an example for us to follow. He showed us how to live the one life that God has given to us.
That last point is illustrated in our Verse for Today.
In Mark 10:42-45, as Jesus talked with His disciples, He noted that they were to follow His example. Even more specifically, they were to follow His example in what they expected of their leaders and in how they were to lead should they end up in a position of leadership.
Let’s consider some truths that we discover in the following four verses:
Mark 10:42 (CSB): “Jesus called them over and said to them, ‘You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions act as tyrants over them.'”
Jesus began by pointing to what the disciples saw. He noted that it was common knowledge that those who rose to positions of leadership generally became jerks and tyrants.
Whether those leaders were in the Roman government or army or whether they were in the Jewish religious system, everyone under the person in authority developed a little bit of fear. Why? Because it was generally observed that people in leadership were using their positional leadership for their own personal benefit … and hurting others if they desired to do so.
Things haven’t changed much in 2,000 years, have they? There are still plenty of people in leadership who use it for their own selfish, self-centered purposes while abusing (or taking for granted) those under their leadership.
John 10:43-44 (CSB): “But it is not so among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you will be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you will be a slave to all.”
Now, Jesus took the spotlight off of bad leaders and put it on His followers. He told them that even though others abused leadership, true Jesus-followers would not do so.
Essentially, Jesus provided yet one more example, as He spoke of leadership, of how Christianity is counter-cultural. It’s counter-intuitive.
Those who claim to be Jesus-followers that are in leadership positions will not be jerks or tyrants. They will not see their leadership position as something to be leveraged for personal gain at the expense of those they follow.
Instead, they will see their leadership position as something to be leveraged for the good of those under their authority, even if it costs them (the leader) something personally.
To be sure, servant-leadership is not passive leadership and it is not soft-leadership. It is, instead, leadership that does the right thing for those under it’s authority.
John 10:45 (CSB): “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Jesus provided Himself as the example. Just as He leveraged His position of leadership (as fully God) for the benefit and blessing of those who followed Him, so should we leverage our earthly positions of leadership to benefit and bless those who follow us.
But, again, servant-leadership is not passive and it is not soft. There were times when Jesus attacked what would harm His followers (read passages like Matthew 23). There were times when He reprimanded His followers who were out of line (read passages like Matthew 16:21-23). There were times when He demanded more of His followers than they demanded of themselves (read passages like Mark 4:35-41).
On and on I could go to demonstrate how Jesus’ leadership (servant-leadership) was not passive and was not soft. But one thing is clear: He led for the benefit of those who followed Him.
Do you aspire to leadership? Then read through the Gospels and compile a lengthy list of principles that you learn from Jesus’ leadership. Then, put them into practice.
Are you already in leadership? Then do the same thing I just mentioned.
Jesus is the ultimate model for leadership. Follow His example.