24 They also started to argue. They disagreed about which of them was thought to be the most important person. 25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles hold power over their people. And those who order them around call themselves Protectors. 26 But you must not be like that. Instead, the most important among you should be like the youngest. The one who rules should be like the one who serves. 27 Who is more important? Is it the one at the table, or the one who serves? Isn’t it the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. 28 You have stood by me during my troubles. 29 And I give you a kingdom, just as my Father gave me a kingdom. 30 Then you will eat and drink at my table in my kingdom. And you will sit on thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel.
What a beautiful call to have an attitude and disposition of service wherever we have influence, authority and responsibility over others.
Jesus flips the cultural idea of leadership and authority on its head here. Instead of “lording” ones authority over others, instead of deeming ourselves special “benefactors” worthy of great respect and honour, Jesus says – be the lesser at the “table” of the world by serving. Be the one who “serves” in this life, not one who is already seated to be served at the table.
What’s Jesus basis for this call? His own example: “I am among you as one who serves.”
Jesus doesn’t say that our influence and authority will be without honour though. Instead, in verse 29-30, Jesus points to His Kingdom and says that we will have the honour and privilege of eating and drinking at His table in the Kingdom coming.
Jesus helps me get to the true spirit and goal of all leadership – to serve those “at the table”, rather than push and hustle to be one of those “honoured” at the table in this life. Leadership in the end is not about us, according to Jesus. It’s about those around us, those at our table.
Lord, help me live this attitude in all my roles, responsibilities and places of influence. Amen.
Written by Ps. Rob Waugh