v25. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
v26. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister.
Jesus in this teaching shows an alternative style of leadership that brings greatness in the kingdom of heaven.
True leadership is found in serving others. The princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, i.e. over their subjects.
The kings of the earth raise their favorites to posts of trust and power they give authority to some over others, but my kingdom is established in a different manner.
Jesus pointed to those Gentile rulers as a negative example of how to lead. He was not rejecting the idea of someone being in charge. Yet He was calling out the Roman tendency to be authoritarian in demanding to be served and obeyed.
In part, He is showing conflict among the disciples about who would hold the highest position and the most powerful was a worldly and unspiritual way of life.
In the teaching of Jesus “a Minister” is “a servant”. Indicating that a servant is one who served others. In the New Testament, one who serves the church, usually referred to as a Deacon (Acts 6:1-4).
Preachers of the gospel are called ministers because they are the servants of God, and of the church. Their office forbids them to lord it over God’s heritage.
Scripture usually contrasts with what we see around us, and in the area of leadership, it’s true than we’ve ever seen. The Bible equates leading with service.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,” the Bible instructs, “rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Philippians 2:3-4).
“True greatness, true leadership, is found in giving yourself in service to others, not in coaxing or inducing others to serve you.”
A leader is anyone who encourages others in obedience to God. That can happen in the quietest, humblest ways so even a child can lead in this regard. A Christ-follower must lead by using authority only in obedience to God and love for others.
Regardless of your current title at home, work, or in community, let’s lead others by serving others as Christ Himself served.