Leadership, Jesus our great example! – Part 2
“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,” (Eph. 5:22, 25).
Today, we shall focus on the second aspect of Jesus’ leadership example: humility and obedience. We need to read these Bible texts: John 13:5 and Phil. 2:8-11. Indeed, we may blame Peter and John, who failed to secure the services of a servant for the feast. As people in charge of preparation, such essential detail should not have been omitted. In fact, they were pre-occupied with who would betray Jesus at the feast or who would be the greatest in the Kingdom, Luke 22:23-24.
On the other hand, we can also put the blame at the doorsteps of the other disciples. If Peter and John failed, why didn’t they volunteer to fill the gap? Notice that Jesus, as Leader, could have demanded for it to be filled or delegated it to one of the disciples. However, as a humble leader, what did He do? “After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded,” (John 13:5).
Jesus was a person free from worldly pride. He took the form of a servant, even though He was God. He was humble. Humility is “quality or act of being humble, modesty or lack of pride.” Remember, when He rode to Jerusalem on the Triumphal entry, He sat on a colt (a simple animal not for war). Therefore, in the letter of Paul to the Philippian brethren, he says: “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore, God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”, (Phil. 2:8-11).
I think that part of the problem, both in the world and in the Church today is that of pride, arrogance. People tend sometimes to rate themselves more highly than they ought to. Such people flaunt their accomplishments/achievements, status, titles and boast about them. They hardly can be controlled or listen to people, since they have arrived. In the ministry, we have some proud people. They pick and choose postings, where they wish to serve, and if not in their favour, they can organise protests, write petitions and so cause discord in a Church. The Canonical nature of our job entails that wherever you are sent, you go with prayerful good wishes. After all, ministry is measured not by educational or material acquisition, but by degree of faithfulness. Church workers should note that ministry is about humility and obedience. Remember, “what your certificate cannot give you, humility can give it to you.”
Also, members sometimes are not helping matters. Ministry is not civil service. In civil service, there may be rules and regulations, violations and infractions can cause trouble. The Church is run by Holy Spirit’s guidance. I know there are some that, if you drop them from Church positions, fail to recognise or praise them well enough, they backslide. Some can stay away from the Lord’s Table. Let it be stated that the Church belongs to God and Jesus bought it with His Blood. Pride, arrogance should not be part of its life.
In heaven, there was a big rejoicing because Satan, former Choirmaster was cast down. He wanted to be calling the shots, and together with his demons, he was cast down to earth; Rev. 12:7-10. If we fail to deal with pride, it may ruin our chances of making heaven.
Jesus willingly, humbly and obediently washed His servants’ feet, even though He was a Master. And in response, God gave Him that highest name. At the mention of His name, every knee must bow and every tongue must confess that He is Lord to the glory of the Father. Sing Ancient & Modern 225: 1,3, 6,7.
People of God, our God is still looking for men and women to enlist in His service. Are you ready to be used by Him? Then deal with pride. Remember that He opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble, (James 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:5. Take a stand: Luke 15:18-19; 18:13-14. May the Holy Spirit assist us to follow in the footsteps of the Master. Amen!
Ven. Ernest Onuoha
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.
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