Not So Among You
April 08, 2022
What about leadership?
Photo by Matteo Vistocco on Unsplash
It is about serving and laying down our lives for others as Jesus did.
It shall not be so among you that you will be in a state of constant competition with your brothers and sisters. It shall not be so among you that you will be vying for positions of importance and prestige and honor. It shall not be so among you though it be so among the many and among the masses.
Here is a conversation between Jesus and his disciples in Mark 10: 32 -45, on the road. That is where so many things happened. On the road was where so much teaching and so many teachable moments emerged in the life and ministry of Jesus.
“They were on the road going up to Jerusalem and Jesus was walking ahead of them they were amazed and those who followed were afraid he took the twelve aside began to tell them what was to happen to him. ‘We are going up to Jerusalem and the son of man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes is it and they will condemn him to death then they will hand him over to the Gentiles and they will mock him and spit upon him and flog him and kill him and after three days he will rise again.’”
Imagine listening, and you hear everything except the last clause. You hear about the spitting and mocking and you hear about the flogging.
This is your teacher, your leader, and your master. How can these things happen? What an insult to him , to God and us! We must prevent this. Human emotions on national entertainment and in local news. There is an epidemic of retaliation, a wrong but common attitude.
“James and John the son of Zebedee came forward and said, ‘Teacher we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.’”
It seems like an inappropriate response to what Jesus just said. We want you to do whatever we ask.
“It’s all about me,” is a cry heard around the world.
“’Grant to us to sit one at your right hand one at your left and your glory.’”
“But Jesus said to them, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism that I'm going to be baptized with?’”
“They replied, ‘We are able.’”
“Then Jesus said to them, The cup that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant. But it's for those for whom it's been prepared’”
“When the ten heard this, they begin to be angry with James and John so Jesus called them and said to them … “
A teachable moment. We're so tone-deaf to what Jesus is saying most of the time even when we read back through the centuries, or through the paradigm of the big picture.
Jesus is saying?
• I'm going to be persecuted.
• I'm going to be killed.
• I'm going to be judged.
• I'm going to be mocked.
“Oh, Jesus, will you let us share in your honors?”
“Can you share in my suffering?”
Not yet they couldn't but later they would. But honors? Is it for the esteem? Is it for the importance of it?
Everybody's upset now.
Here's the teachable moment.
“Jesus called them and said to them, ‘You know that among the Gentiles, those whom they recognized as their rulers lord it over them.’”
Would you have seen a gentile Roman Centurion leading like Jesus? He led by example and by being willing to be vulnerable.
“’They lord it over them and their great ones are tyrants over them, but it's not to be so among you.’”
“’Whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many.”
It’s all about the serving and the giving and Jesus gives us a lesson in discipleship and a lesson in leadership. The leader is one who is vulnerable a leader is one who allows the purposes of God to be worked out in his or her. A leader faces the danger. A leader receives the mocking without mocking back. A leader is not a tyrant and does not lord leadership over those whom he or she leads.
You are going to be different than those who lead that way and those who rule that way and those who compete that way.
And those who base their own self esteem on their importance are not leaders like me, Jesus teaches.
“’ 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 of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.’"
You take the last place. You will become the servant of all. You will serve and you will give your life including any hope of future recognition and praise in this life or the life to come.
It will not be your motive to gain recognition. You will do it for me and for others as a servant, a servant leader.
All of the examples of leadership that we see in the world who wield tyranny and manipulation, are false. Their power fades with these words:
It is not so among you.
It shall not be so among you.