So, Jesus called them all together to him and said, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the heathen have power over them, and the leaders have complete authority. This, however, is not to happen among you. If any of you wants to be great, he must be the servant of the rest; and if any of you wants to be first, he must be slave of all.


Jesus contrasted the leadership style of the world which oppresses their subjects and their subjects submit to them out of fear and not out of love and service. Jesus condemned this style of leadership. He said that authoritative leadership should not be found among His followers.

Jesus Christ asked His followers to embrace servant – leadership. In His kingdom, leaders should carry the burden of their followers unlike the leadership style of the world. By their lives of service, leaders should serve those in their charge who need services. The served always follow those who serve their needs. Instead of lording it over the people, they are to bear the burden of the people through service. In other words, their authority should be exercised through service.

Jesus used the image of a slave knowing that a slave has no rights. The duty of a slave is to please the master alone. The slave has no privilege; his duty is to simply give himself to the service of the master. Similarly, leaders, as slaves in the community of God do not have the privilege of choice in the service of the needs of the people. They must lead through service.