“And Jesus called them to him and said to them, ‘You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’” (Mark 10:42-45).
The above verses suggest a “flipping of the script” when it comes to ultimate authority, faith leaders say.
To fully understand these verses, it is helpful to understand their context within the life and mission of on Earth.
Jesus taught the disciples “many times” that leadership in his kingdom “requires humility and the willingness to submit to God” and serve others.
This is revealed in previous verses in the Gospel of Mark (Mark 8:34–38), according to Bibleref.com.
Jesus was walking toward Jerusalem as he spoke these words, the same website also notes.
“Once he arrives there, he will be crucified within a week,” the site also says.
“Meanwhile, his closest companions [the apostles] vie for positions of authority and influence.”
Jesus compares their attitudes to those of the “Gentile Caesars and kings” whose rule over the Jews is characterized by “injustice and violence,” the site also notes.
One Chicago-based pastor says the ideas about authority presented here are compelling.
“The contrast between leadership styles in the world as opposed to the kingdom of God is striking not only because they are so far apart in the attitude and application of authority, but considering who is in that position,” Cristian Ionescu, senior pastor of the Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church in Chicago, Illinois, told Fox News Digital via email.
Jesus presents two scenarios in these verses, said Ionescu, who is also president of the Romanian Pentecostal Churches’ Union of the U.S. and Canada.
The first is “a mere human, limited in knowledge, imperfect in character and in nature, yet lording over his subjects as if he was God,” he said.
Ionescu, who says his own family fled communist Romania to seek religious freedom, continued, “On the other hand, the creator of the universe, the sustainer of all things, having the right of ownership over us — our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ — is exercising his authority with love and compassion, care and sacrifice, humility and service.”
Saying that the leaders of the world “should be on notice,” he continues, “I would tell them to heed this example and copy this role model.”
“I would tell people,” he added, “to come on and accept this Lord and follow him, for his authority is leading people into the kingdom of God — not only the spiritual one on this earth, but the everlasting one soon to come.”
Stay tuned for more Bible verses of the day during the Advent season. To see yesterday’s Bible verse, click here.