Matthew 20:20-28 NIV
Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him. “What is it you want?” he asked. She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.” “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?” “We can,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.” When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Wanting to be the top of the pile is a common thing. People speak of 'climbing the greasy pole.' Ad when someone reaches the top, 'I wonder who she (or he) trod on to get there?'. To those who find themselves in positions of power and authority, Jesus says that they must not 'lord it over' people. Rather, the call is to slave hood in service of others. Jesus reminds us that he came to serve. Moreover, he gave his life as a ransom. The words and actions of Jesus must be the yardstick by which we lead. Also, they make a good way of evaluating those we see in leadership; namely, are they servants (or tyrants)?
Lord Jesus, your words and actions turn up side down the values if the world. May we follow your lead. Amen