Luke 22:25-26,“So Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ Not so with you; instead the one who is greatest among you must become*~ like the youngest, and the leader like the one who serves.”
One of Jesus’s most remarkable teachings concerned His view of leadership. He marked a distinction between how the believer leads and how the unsaved world leads: in the world, some “lord it over,” or control by “authority,” but this was to be “not so with you” for His followers were to lead their families and ministries.
One has to wonder if the disciples responded to this teaching as they did to His teaching on a very limited right to divorce: “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry” (Matt 19:10).
The threat of divorce was their means of control over their wives. Did they now think the same way about His form of leadership? When you think of all the leaders you know, do some stand out as servants, or do most seem like micromanagers, controlling every decision and refusing to delegate?
The events of Luke 22:26 occurred on the eve of Jesus’s crucifixion. The disciples assumed Jesus would take control of the city, and they wanted to know which of them “was to be regarded as the greatest” (Luke 22:24) in this new kingdom that surely Jesus was about to begin. Their heads were filled with grandeur, importance, and power.
Jesus did not say there would be no leaders in His new order, but he said they would lead from entirely different principles. The only way a person can be a leader is if someone is following him!
The question is, why do people follow any leader? Is it out of fear of public criticism or seeking his approval? Is it the charisma, importance, wealth, or popularity of a leader that attracts others to blindly follow him? Or is it due to the selfless, caring acts and the edifying commitment to others of a servant-leader who seeks what is best for his followers?
The “patron” syndrome of paternalistic dominance, as a father over a preschool child, is not the model Jesus sought to replicate in His disciples. Jesus’s leadership model takes the attitude of a “servant” with no necessary extrinsic authority.
He is granted increasing authority as others learn how faithful, wise, and committed he is to them. Which kind of leader do you want to become?
“Lord, put me behind the cross and give me the eyes to see the needs of others You have gifted me to meet, if I’m willing to give up my interests to benefit others. Allow me to live today to care for all those around me.”