A man is always trying to prove himself a man! He is always comparing, judging, and competing for the highest seat. He is marked with ambition and determination; he is focused on being the greatest and best in his field. For many, this is what life is all about, and this is the basis upon which we judge leadership. We base leadership on position, prestige, and influence! Jesus Christ teaches us that there is more to leadership than exercising authority over others. He says that true leadership is only obtained when it is preceded by the qualities of being a minister to those you lead.
Jesus not only preached servant leadership, but He practiced it! He breathed it and His followers believed in Him because of it. They followed Him because they knew that He would not tell them to do something that He would not do. He could tell them to forsake all because He had already forsaken all; He could tell them to deny their fleshly wishes because He had denied all of His earthly desires. He could tell them to serve others because He had washed each one of His disciples’ feet. He was a selfless servant leader.
“Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:6-11)
While men seek to build reputation to prove their leadership, the Lord Jesus Christ made himself of no reputation. Reputation is what most of us worry about. We are concerned about our good name; we care about who likes us and who does not like us, but Jesus Christ was different. He made himself of no reputation. Not only did He reject the reputations and status of this world, but He took upon himself the form of a servant. He put on the attire of a servant; He took the role of a servant, and in every aspect of His life he displayed servant-hood.
As a twelve year old boy, he served in the temple.
As a thirty year old man, he served society by preaching the gospel.
He served by fasting and praying forty days and forty nights!
He served by casting out devils.
He served by fighting for the rights of an adulterous woman!
He served by healing the sick!
He served by washing the feet of his disciples!
He served by helping people enjoy their feasts, making water turn to good wine!
He served by dying on the cross to redeem fallen man!
He serves by continually making intercession for the saints of God today!
All of the followers of Jesus Christ should have these same marks of servant leadership. We should be willing to take off our royal garments and put on the apparel of a janitor. We should be willing to wash one another’s feet. We should be willing to pray one another through to spiritual blessing and prosperity. Many times we think that it will take away from our reputation, spiritual side, and connection with God if we serve in natural capacities to help someone. It could be as simple as cleaning a room or washing dishes, but these are marks of leadership. Jesus wants His followers to be servants, and if we are not servants in every aspect of life we are not obeying the Christian doctrine.
The Apostle Paul was a godly example in every way when it comes to obeying the gospel of Jesus Christ. He took care of the spiritual and physical needs of His people. He prayed for them in every capacity, and even labored for them naturally to ensure that their physiological needs were met. What an awesome example of Christ likeness. He was a pure man of ministry!
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you.” (2 Corinthians 4:7-12)
This man was willing to endure anything, and put up with anything to ensure that the life of Jesus was being made manifest through His mortal flesh. He wanted the world to know that Jesus Christ was real! The life of Jesus should be our motivation and our focus. If we believe that Jesus Christ practiced servant leadership, we should make it manifest in our mortal flesh as the apostle did. He devoted his entire life and ministry serving those whom God had committed into His hands and because of the servant leadership He displayed, the entire Gentile world was impacted. One man with the power of Jesus Christ, who was willing to obey every principle and practice every rule, was able to raise up an Army so powerful that it has reached to the uttermost parts of the world.
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