What do you think is the best path to leadership in the kingdom of God? There was a principle of leadership that Jesus had to get across to His disciples. After all, they were going to be leading the church after His ascension.
We’re continuing our study through the Gospel of Luke. At this point we’re viewing the Last Supper before Jesus goes to the cross.
Christ wants to prepare the Apostles for the challenges ahead. Part of this was to instruct them about the cross. He was going to suffer, die, and then rise from the dead three days later.
The Lord had given them the bread and the cup of the New Covenant. He then told them about how He was going to be betrayed. That’s an interesting place for this conversation to begin.
As they were sitting around the table, the disciples started to debate something among themselves. I’m sure that it got pretty heated.
Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.
Luke 22:24 NIV
This argument probably started with, “It’s obviously not me. I would never betray Him. After all, I’m closer to the Lord than any of you!” I’m sure that Peter, James, and John all thought that they were at the top of the list. That is, until Jesus shared His views with them.
Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.”
Luke 22:25-27 NIV
The Lord explains that the true path to leadership is through servanthood. That’s something that we have a hard time grasping in the church these days.
Jesus is our prime example. The disciples were arguing over who was greatest, right after Jesus told them about His body and blood being given up for them.
He is the Lord of all creation. But the path He took involved laying down His life – serving – all of humanity.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!
Philippians 2:5-8 NIV
I think that it’s funny the way we get into leadership in our generation. If someone wants to be a pastor or teacher, they go to a Bible college and seminary for years. Then they graduate and send their resumes to churches. A lot of them will get voted in and installed as pastors having never served in ministry.
I think that’s why there’s such a high burn-out rate in the ministry. We haven’t learned that the path to knowing your calling is service in the kingdom. Without being a true servant, there’s no way of understanding the needs of those you’re leading.
That was the path that Christ took. It hasn’t changed. The Father is looking for qualified servants to lead His people. Don’t ever look down on that season of your life. Enjoy your call to servanthood.
Question: How are you called to serve in God’s kingdom?
© 2022 Nick Zaccardi