Sabbath School Lesson 2017 Quarter 2 Lesson 7 Tuesday
What is servant leadership? How is it different from regular leadership we have been discussing? Well, another Google search yielded many of the same qualities and characteristics…along with some that weren’t previously mentioned – traits like “person of character”, “puts others first”, “compassionate collaborator”, “leads with moral authority”, “empathy/healing”, “stewardship”, “builds community”.
Is there a common theme running through all of these? Selflessness! Is there any doubt why Jesus was the quintessential servant leader?
For me, nothing illustrates the servant leadership concept better than the picture of Jesus we get a glimpse of in John 13:3-4 (this is from The Remedy):
“Jesus knew that his Father had placed all things—whether in heaven or on earth—in his hands, and that he had come from God to reveal him and was returning to God when his mission was complete. So in order to give his disciples a further revelation of God, he got up from his meal, took off his outer garment, and wrapped a towel around his waist. Then poured water in a bowl and began to wash the dirty feet of his disciples, drying them with the towel that was tied around him.”
What a beautiful picture, right? Especially when we remember that two of those feet were about to betray him.
The 4th paragraph says Peter, “goes on to explain that a key difference between His kingdom and those of the Gentile nations is the type of leader that will emerge in His kingdom.”
When I read that I said yep, that is *a* key difference…but it is a product or an outgrowth of *the* key difference.
What is the key difference between God’s kingdom and earthly kingdoms? Imposed law versus design law!
“Those who wish to lead in the kingdom where Jesus is King must become servants because the leaders in Jesus’ kingdom will be like Jesus” very well said! Thus, Peter is calling church leaders to the same ideal: the surrender and self-denial seen in Jesus must be revealed in them, as well.
The box at the bottom of Tuesday’s lesson points out how closely Paul’s writing in Philippians 2:4-8 coincides with Peter’s instructions to church leaders.
From The Message:
“If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.”
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