Servant Leadership by Tom Wilson
25) But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
26) But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
27) And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
28) Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.Matthew 20:25-28 (KJV)
Jesus gives us here the essence of what it is to be a servant leader. He gave us this as an example of what He practices.
What He is saying is that in order for you to be a great leader you have to prove to people that you are a great servant. Jesus was this and so much more.
In verse 28 Jesus tells us that this is the main reason He came.
He said, “I came to not only bring great news and to be a servant, but I came to pay the ultimate price and give My life and free everyone from the penalty of sin.” (Matt. 20:28)
In the 1987 movie The Untouchables the Eliot Ness character made this statement, “As we are going to enforce the law, we must do first by example.”“In order for you to be a great leader you have to prove to people that you are a great servant.”
Since hearing that statement I have lived by a “we must lead by example” mindset.
In fact, this is what Jesus did every day of His ministry – His servant leadership is exemplified throughout each of the Gospels.
For instance, the Gospel according to Mark displays Jesus as the greatest servant ever.
Jesus made the lame to walk again, caused the deaf to hear again, made the blind man see, and miraculously fed the multitudes.
Jesus even showed how much of a servant He was by washing the disciples feet – an act that also demonstrated His love and humility. (Jn. 13:5)
He was doing the work of the lowliest of servants. Moreover, the humility that He displayed here with the washing of the feet was a picture of the humility and love He would show on the cross.
Jesus said that if you want to be the “chief” (leader), you have to become the best servant that you can be. (Matt. 20:27)
May we each take Jesus’ words to heart as we follow his examples of servant leadership and apply them to our lives.
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River Landscape with Riders, by Aelbert Cuyp, c. 1653 – 1657. The Rijksmuseum. SK-A-4118.