Reading: Matthew 23: 1-12
Verse 11: The greatest among you will be your servant.
Leadership today is usually about having good people skills, making wise decisions, knowing the intricacies of the trade, carefully using ones power, and gaining experience in one’s field. Society may even overlook some behaviors or actions if the bottom line is healthy enough. In our world we also see some trying to lead, but they lack some of the necessary qualities and skills to lead well. Others are following their own agendas and are leading a very small band or a group of one.
Jesus addresses leadership in Luke 23. He is talking once again about the religious leaders and the Pharisees. He begins by acknowledging that they sit in the seat of authority. Therefore, He says they deserve obedience. But from here, Jesus addresses their woes. First, they do not practice what they preach. Second, they use the Law to place heavy burdens on the people but they themselves do nothing to help the people live out the Law. Third, they love recognition. They desire to be noticed and recognized for their apparent holiness and esteemed positions. It is all about them and little about helping others to know God and to live devout and righteous lives.
Jesus then shifts the focus to who we should really be following. He insists that there is really only one true Father and only one true Teacher. God alone is to be worshipped and we should follow Jesus alone. As John the Baptist said, we must become less so that Jesus can become more. Jesus also speaks of this today, saying, “The greatest among you will be your servant”. The greatest here on earth will be the servant. Faith is about loving God and, in turn, loving others.
The humble servant loves and serves and then points to Jesus Christ and His love as the reason why. This is the task of all Christians: through our lives we are to point others to Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. To a degree, we are all called to lead. By our prayers, our presence, our witness, our service, and our gifts, may we always lead others to Christ. As we live out our lives and as we love others as humble servants of the Lord our God, may we ever shine the light on Jesus, the author of our faith.