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June 13 I Sunday

Ezra 6-8

John 21

“...Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”  —Matthew 20:28

 

The second test Jesus encountered was His attitude towards His responsibility. Luke 4:5-7 records, “The devil led [Jesus] up to a high place and showed Him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And [the devil] said to Him, ‘I will give You all their authority and splendour; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If You worship me, it will all be Yours.’” 

      The devil taunted Jesus and His identity by saying, “If You are the Son of God, how come You don’t rule the world? Look at the splendour of the kingdoms. I can give You a position, a status, even make You king. There is a small price tag, of course. You just have to bow down and worship me.” The devil offered Jesus a position that God the Father had not given Him. While it is not wrong for Jesus to rule the world, it was illegitimate; the devil was offering Jesus a shortcut to taking power and authority.

      It was only after Jesus’s death and resurrection, near the end of Matthew’s Gospel that we find Jesus saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me” (Matthew 28:18). The operative part is, “has been given.” In other words, Jesus did not scheme, manipulate, trade or bow the knee in any direction to receive this. God the Father gave Jesus this authority. 

      It is very attractive to rule, but ambition to rule is dangerous. We put a lot of stress on leadership today, but in actuality, we need to put a stress on servanthood. Our job is not to make leaders, but to make servants. In fact, we should make ourselves servants. Jesus tells us, “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). The gateway to promotion, from God’s point of view in His economy, is serving. 

      Someone once told me, “Do you want to know who your real leaders are? Give them the most difficult and dirty job you can find, and you’ll find who your real leaders are. They’re the ones who do the difficult and dirty jobs well.” If we teach people to become servants, God will raise leaders out of servants.

 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, what a great reminder that leadership stems from servanthood. You are the One who raises up leaders. Humble my heart as I serve others. Thank You, Father.


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