Daily Word of Grace # 18 (April 9, 2020)

The concept of being a “servant leader” is very popular, both in the corporate world and in the church.  Yet, while this has its upside, the downside is that Jesus never spoke about being a “servant leader”, he simply spoke about being a “servant”—period, full stop.  After John and James asked Jesus to grant that they would sit at his right and left hand in glory (nothing arrogant or entitled about that!) Jesus told them, and the other disciples, who were less than blessed with John and James in that moment, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them.  But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave to all.  For the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:42-45).  This is very different from being a “servant leader” because being simply a “servant” dispels any pretense of power or control over others.  Moreover, Jesus did exactly this at the Last Supper when he literally became the servant of his disciples and washed their feet, and then told them, “If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.  For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you” (John 13:14-15).  The next day Jesus humbled himself even further and took the form of a servant and died on the cross as the Suffering Servant not just for his disciples but also for the whole world, including you (Philippians 2:7-8).  And how does God call us to respond?  You already know.

Love and Prayers,