Mark 9:34-35 “But they didn’t answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.”
One of the many things that separate Jesus from a lot of the leaders we know, is His servant-spirit. Over the next few days, we will be learning from this hugely profound attribute of Jesus. Get ready because your life and leadership quotient is going to change forever. Think of a leader in your life (domestic, academic, political, spiritual, etc…), how would you describe this leader’s heart – a servant spirit or bossy spirit? The second question is, how do you think the people you lead will describe you. Everybody is leading someone in some way, for example, fathers are leaders. Fathers, how do you think your wife and children will describe your leadership? Take some time to ponder about this and ask the people around you as well.
Please read Mark 9:30-35. The first thing that jumps out at us is this – the disciples of Jesus were actually normal human beings. Someone says everywhere two or three are gathered, there will be politics. Everywhere two or three people gather together on a particular mission, there will always be someone saying/wondering/scheming “Who is the boss?” “Who can be the boss?” “Can I be the boss?” “What if I am the boss?” “Why should he or she be the boss?” “Can I usurp him or her?” Jesus knew what His disciples were discussing, even though they did not tell Him. When He asked them what they were discussing, they did not answer because obviously, they did not want to be scolded.
Jesus then said to them, “If anyone wants to be first… if anyone of you wants to be the leader…”. Did Jesus say desiring to be the leader was a wrong ambition? Jesus did not say that desiring to lead is wrong, or a sin. A lot of people have misinterpreted this scripture to mean that, to be spiritual means to be subservient. In other words, to be mediocre, not to aspire for greatness. That was not what Jesus was saying in this scripture. God translated us from the kingdom of darkness into The Kingdom of His dear Son. Now we are in God’s Kingdom. God’s Kingdom is an operating environment and because we are in His Kingdom, it will affect our thinking, it will affect our environment. Jesus is saying, the path to greatness in The Kingdom is servant-hood. It is counter-intuitive really because the way the world operates, the world’s path to greatness is usually ‘dog eat dog’. People are constantly looking for who to outsmart and outmaneuver. Jesus says, I want you to be leaders and you will be leaders. Note, however, that the path to leadership in The Kingdom is the path of service.
Prayer: Father, let Your heart for leadership be expressed through me, in Jesus Name. Amen!