The wife of Zebedee came to Jesus with her two sons, bowed before Him and asked Him for a favour.
“What do you want?” Jesus asked her.
She answered, “Promise me that these two sons of mine will sit at your right and your left when you are king.”
“You don’t know what you are asking for,” Jesus answered the sons. “Can you drink the cup of suffering that I am about to drink?”
“We can,” they answered.
“You will indeed drink from my cup,” Jesus told them, “but I do not have the right to choose who will sit at my right and my left. These places belong to those whom my father has prepared them.”
When the other ten disciples heard about this, they became angry with the two brothers. So Jesus called them all together and said, “You know that the rulers of the heathen have power over them, and the leaders have complete authority.
This however, is not the way it shall be among you. If one of you wants to be great, he must be the servant of the rest; and if one of you wants to be first, he must be your slave-like the Son of Man, who did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life to redeem many people.” (Matthew 20: 20-28).
Ninety per cent of the leaders I’ve met or heard of believe leadership entails sitting on the high chair (think throne), barking orders. “Do this, do that…” But Jesus talks of a different kind of leadership. One where the leader doesn’t sit back and watch his subjects work tirelessly, but goes out and does whatever needs to be done himself.
He even gives an example of Himself. He says a leader, like the Son of Man, must be a servant of the rest. One who serves, as opposed to being served. Many people have it all twisted. The modern day leadership is characterized by greed, tyranny, misuse of power, where the underprivileged are brutally oppressed.
In the spirit of fairness, I have seen some leaders who take part in charity works and all, but in most cases there is always a catch. They do it to gain more popularity. This means any humanitarian work they do is driven by personal interests. So I’m always left wondering, if there was nothing to gain from helping people, would this leaders do it in the first place?
It’s good to help, but I believe it is hypocritical to always show up in a place where people are suffering, accompanied by photographers and reporters so they can spread the news. How about helping secretly? There’s really no need telling everyone who one helped if the intentions are pure.
I know not everyone who reads my posts is a Christian, but wouldn’t it be a great thing if we had leaders who didn’t discriminate? Leaders who didn’t trample on the weak? Leaders who served people with one heart, without focusing on personal gains? Imagine if we had leaders who desired to serve than to be served?
Anyone can be that leader, if we let love be our guide; if we stopped discriminating; if we focused on the greater good. Feeding the hungry without expecting anything in return; rehabilitating the homeless…there’s so much leaders could do. But as it turns out, most are blinded by their desire to better their own lives; amassing their personal wealth, living lavish lives…etc.
If everyone who desired to be elected/appointed a leader was guaranteed their lives would be no less difficult than Jesus’, would they take those posts? Leadership isn’t just about personal gains, but about serving one’s subjects. That is the precedent set by Jesus, the king of kings. He taught us to suffer for others, and that is what leadership is about.