The Reading: 1 Timothy 6:11-16
“King of kings, and Lord of lords” (v. 15) RSV
Through the following weeks we will be considering different kings and rulers who have adopted very different styles of leadership. From them we can learn good and bad leadership. We can also learn how to behave when we are under good or bad leaders.
Today we see the leader of leaders, Jesus Christ. He is the archetypal leader: “the King of kings and Lord of lords” (v.15). As Graham Kendrick’s song goes: “He is the servant king.” He does not lord it over others. He does not dominate by force, but leads by example. Though he is sovereign he does not use force, but wins by love.
When he stood on trial before Pilate he said, “My kingship is not of this world; if my kingship were of this world my servants would fight …” (John 18:36). Jesus was not saying that his kingship had nothing to do with this world! He was saying that his source of power and authority was not provided by this world e.g. swords and spears. His weapons were (as Paul would say) spiritual, not carnal (see 2 Cor. 10:4). Jesus ruled and rulers by Prayer, by the Word and by the Spirit. By these means he wins people’s hearts and minds. They are captivated by love, not by fear and coercion.
He instructed his disciples that their leadership should be like his, not like worldly rulers. He said, “… whoever would be great among you must be your servant … for the son of man came to serve, and to give his life …” (Mark 10:44-45).
Whatever position of leadership we are in, whether in our family or at work or in our church, we need to follow in the steps of our Lord and Master. We are always in it for the good of those ‘under’ us, and not for our own benefit. Of course there are privileges that go with leadership, but our motivation is costly service for the good of others.
Thank you Lord, for your humble service and sacrifice. I pray for my attitude to others, and I pray for those in leadership in our church and government. Amen.
1 Read again and think on leadership.
2 Who did Jesus use to illustrate service?