Monday August 17, 2020
Today’s Scripture: Mark 10:35-37; 41-45
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came over and spoke to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do us a favor.”
36 “What is your request?” he asked.
37 They replied, “When you sit on your glorious throne, we want to sit in places of honor next to you, one on your right and the other on your left.”
41 When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant. 42 So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 43 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. 45 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.”
You are a leader. You might not think you are – but trust me – you are. You may not be in an official position of “leadership”. You may no longer be a manager or an officer. You might not have a title or any “direct reports”. But if you exert influence in any spear of life – you are a leader. This means parents and grandparents are leaders. Volunteers are leaders. Church committee members and deacons are leaders. In fact, I’m hard pressed to find someone who is NOT a leader in some realm of their lives.
This means we cannot ignore this passage in Mark just because we don’t think we are a leader or don’t want to be a leader. And what we learn from Jesus here is the absolute contrast between what the world thinks of leadership and what leadership looks like in the Kingdom of God.
Jesus reminds us that “rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them.” Have you ever had a boss like that? Of course! We all have. It’s easy to see this kind of leadership every day.
But Jesus reminds his disciples and us that if we are going to be leaders – true leaders – we need to do things differently. True leaders are servants. True leaders put others ahead of themselves. True leaders do not flaunt it – they do the opposite.
Think about where and how you are a leader today and then check yourself on the servant scale. If the question is “how can we improve our leadership?”, then the answer will be “servanthood.” Let’s be servants today.
God thank you for the position of leadership that you have placed us in – no matter how small we might think it is. Help us to be faithful leaders who are more concerned with service than with status. Give us understanding when we move from being servant leaders into something else that we need to recalibrate and rededicate ourselves to serving others.