A Contrast in Leadership

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A Contrast in Leadership

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The contrast between the abuse of power that characterizes the rule of human despots like Saddam Hussein and the motives Jesus Christ said should define true leadership are as different as night and day. "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them," He said to His disciples. "Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:25-28, emphasis added throughout).

True leadership isn't a matter of emphasizing authority and abusing power over others, He pointed out. No, far from it. The one who is a true leader is not the one who gets the most, amassing power and wealth for himself, his family and his cronies, but the one who gives the most of himself to serve his people and to better their lives.

To Jesus, these weren't empty words or catchy slogans. He put His life on the line—literally—to back up His words. He gave His time in serving, sharing, encouraging and miraculously healing the sick and feeding the hungry.

He defined His mission on earth in Luke 4:18 (quoting from Isaiah 61:1-2): "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."

When He at last returns to earth, this will be the kind of godly leadership and example that will characterize His rule. What a stark contrast to so many of today's rulers! GN