[PC-USA] 2000-04-09 - Jesus as Servant

Passages about Jesus, Part 7

There is some relatively new jargon in Christian circles and the workplace, called "servant leadership." Although it is an admirable trend, we Americans did not invent it in the 20th or 21st centuries! Jesus wrote the book (literally) on servant leadership. Today we will read passages that show Jesus as the most perfect Servant.

Even though He is Divine, out of love for us, He became a servant:

Phil 2:5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature (Or in the form of) God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature (Or the form) of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (NIV)

Jesus, as Leader, showed that leadership is not always glamorous; He performed one of the most menial tasks of that day, to serve His disciples:

John 13:12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. 13 "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. (NIV)

Following His example, Christian leaders are not to be inaccessible or filled with pride; we are to be like slaves to those whom we lead:

Mat. 20:20 Then the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus with her sons. She knelt respectfully to ask a favor. 21 "What is your request?" he asked. She replied, "In your Kingdom, will you let my two sons sit in places of honor next to you, one at your right and the other at your left?" 22 But Jesus told them, "You don't know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of sorrow I am about to drink?" "Oh yes," they replied, "we are able!" 23 "You will indeed drink from it," he told them. "But I have no right to say who will sit on the thrones next to mine. My Father has prepared those places for the ones he has chosen." 24 When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant. 25 But Jesus called them together and said, "You know that in this world kings are tyrants, and officials lord it over the people beneath them. 26 But among you it should be quite different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must become your slave. 28 For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many." (NIV)