But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25–28 NLT)
The Son of Man did not come to rule and exert His power, authority, or privilege over us. Rather, he came to serve us. We see this even in the way Jesus talks about Himself. Traditionally, a father holds a position of authority over his children. Even in patriarchal societies where the first-born son is granted a high level of authority within the household, the father still reigns supreme. When Jesus uses the moniker Son of Man to talk about Himself, He is, in part, signaling that His role is to be that of a servant of mankind.
When we follow in Jesus’s footsteps and choose a place of service, especially when in positions of authority over others, we are, in effect, creating space for others to grow, flourish, and thrive. David Fitch, in Faithful Presence, writes that the “kingdom [of God] will be founded on mutual submission to one another under the lordship of Christ, where anyone who rules does so through submission to the work of God happening in the midst of us.”
If everyone involved is submitting to God and to one another, the outcome of any given Kingdom project will likely be more powerful than what any of the leaders involved could have otherwise expected. As you consider an arena of your life in which you hold some kind of position of authority, privilege, or power, find some way you can step aside to serve others.