How to be the Greatest
Guest Blogger: Ingrid Rosario
I have been doing ministry for several decades now and although I still feel young, I continue to have expectations of great things to come. An important objective of mine is always to become and do my best in whatever I do. Whether it’s rehearsing with my band, taking voice lessons, arriving prepared to my concerts and using the best quality studios and gear for my albums, my team and I always strive to do the best. Colossians 3:23 says, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” God knows my desire is to please and bring glory and honor to His name. I assume that if you are reading this blog, your desire is also to be the best worshiper, musician, teacher, preacher or the best all around leader. As I have continued to study God’s word, my desire is to continue to become more and more like Jesus. I have found that although it is important to be well prepared in order to do our best or become the best, there is a different and even more important position that one must take, and that is one of a SLAVE and SERVANT.
Now, Jesus’ followers had this on going conversation amongst themselves, because it appears in different areas of the gospel. They wanted to know who would be the greatest amongst them. Jesus responded with this in Mark 10:42-45, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Allow me to point out several things:
If we are to please God in everything we do, we must take the position that Jesus took. As it says in verse 45, “For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many”. Jesus laid down his life. Paul wrote in in Philippians 2:5-7, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in the very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” Jesus served us in the greatest way any human can, by sacrificing and laying down his own life for us. And now we are called to do the same.
The Leaders of the world flaunt their authority
They can be tyrants (bullies) – people who abuse their leadership. Unfortunately, I have been in church so long that I have come across a couple of church leaders who are tyrants or bullies. Leaders who lead by intimidation and threats. Leaders that believe that the position is more important then who they are serving. Jesus being fully human and completely God never used it to his advantage. When tempted in the desert after going 40 days without food, the enemy tried to make Jesus sin against God with his authority of whom he was. Matthew 4:1-11 “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread, if you are the Son of God throw yourself down and command the angels to save you.” Jesus knew what his mission was, and whom he came to save. Remember he was hungry because he was completely human but never used his deity to his advantage, but took the position of a slave. A slave who came to serve and lay down his life for us.
God’s economy is completely different from the economy of this world.
The world says in order to be the greatest you must be first. But the word of God says in Matthew 20:16, “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” Philippians 1:21 says, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” The thoughts and ways of God are so much higher than ours and especially of this world. Isaiah 55:8-9, “We are to have the thoughts of God, the mind of Christ.”
“But among you it will be different”, Jesus said.
“Different” means to do the opposite. Not to repeat the action. To be more and more like Christ. But may I be bold to ask this question? Is it? Is it really different? All I think of is church politics and human nature. See, if Jesus had to confront his disciples with this then there was an issue. And unfortunately when human nature is involved it’s easy to put aside the words of Jesus and go with what we feel we deserve, and how we feel we should be treated (respected) if we are leaders. But in order to fulfill God’s will in our lives, we are to take the position that Jesus Christ took and told us to take. He came to serve. In the book of John, Jesus begins to wash the feet of his disciples, and at first, Peter did not quite understand why Jesus would take the position of a servant. But Jesus said, “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
Don’t seek the title of Leader but seek the Role
This is a leaders job description - “Whoever wants to be a Leader among you must be your servant and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else”. A true, influential leader leads not by a title given to them, but by example. And what better example then Jesus himself.
Becoming a Servant brings you blessings and authority
Going back to John 13, Jesus said, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them”. Jesus pretty much was saying this: God is our Master and Sender and we are his servants and messengers of the Good News. If we want to be blessed we need to be obedient, humble, loving, compassionate, selfless, and full of the Holy Spirit. We must be more like Jesus.
A Leader is motivated by LOVE and not by keeping their title or position of leadership
In John 13:34 Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love is a fruit of the Spirit. When we live our lives in obedience to Christ Jesus we are ultimately living our faith out loud, we give testimony of who Jesus is in our lives.
I entitled this blog “How to be the greatest” and let me answer it by just saying this. In order to become the greatest one must be a Slave to Christ and a Servant to all people.