What makes a good leader?
Matthew 20:25–28 (NKJV) “25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.””
The disciples were fighting for leadership amongst themselves. Their perception of leaders was those who lord authority over others while even greater people lord authority over the leaders. No doubt they were taking cues from the Roman government they were under at the time. So the disciples are arguing amongst themselves who is going to be in charge. James and John used their mother to try to influence Jesus, while others were trying to make their case of why they should be on top. Regardless of methods, they wanted to be in charge to tell other people what to do.
Suddenly Jesus calls His disciples to Himself and says, yes that is how the Gentiles exercise leadership. However, I have a better plan for you. Here is Jesus’ plan on being a great leader…
1. Be a servant. “Whoever desire to become great among you, let him be your servant.” In other words, leadership is not about lording authority over people, it’s about serving people.
2. Put yourself last. “Whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave.” In other words, leadership is not about lifting up ourselves, but rather lifting up others. It is about self-sacrifice rather than sacrificing others.
3. Follow the example of Jesus. “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” In regards to being a servant, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. In regards to putting yourself last, Jesus sacrificed His life for us so that we could have eternal life with Him in heaven!
Jesus, the greatest leader of all time, illustrated leadership by serving people and by sacrificing His life for us putting Himself last. If we want to do great things for the Lord, we must first begin by following the example of Jesus.