On the very night Jesus was arrested, his followers held an argument regarding which of them was the best. In Luke 22, we read:
24 Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 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. 27 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.
Notice how Jesus answered their popularity contest. He pointed out that society’s leaders live consumed with power. In contrast, those who follow Jesus, “Are not to be like that.” Spiritual leaders serve. Why? Because that’ what Jesus did.
That same night, Jesus would wash the feet of his closest friends, then later be beaten by his enemies. Yet rather than focus on his authority as the Messiah, he offered himself as the suffering servant (Isaiah 53), willing to take our place rather than take his rightful place.
Still today, Jesus calls us to transcend the competition of seeking authority and popularity. Instead, we are called to serve. This is the true power of example.
Dillon Burroughs is the author or co-author of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of the New Testament in 2011 at HolyWritProject.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.