SUNDAY 8th OCTOBER, 2017.
LEADERSHIP, JESUS OUR GREAT EXAMPLE! (2)
Today, we shall focus on the second aspect of Jesus’ leadership example that on humility and obedience. We need to read these Bible texts: John 13:5 and Phil. 2:8-11. Indeed, we may blame Peter and John who failed to secure the services of a servant for the feast. As people in-charge of preparation such essential detail should not have been omitted. In fact, they were pre-occupied with who will betray Jesus at the feast or who will be the greatest in the Kingdom, Luke 22:23-24.
On the other hand, we can also put the blame at the door steps of the other disciples. If Peter and John failed, why didn’t they volunteer to fill in the gap? Notice, Jesus as a leader could have demanded for it to be filled or delegated it to one of the disciples. However, as a humble leader, what did He do? “After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded”, (John 13:5).
Jesus was a person free from worldly pride. He took the form of a servant even though He was God. He was humble. Humility is “quality or act of being humble, modesty or lack of pride”. Remember, when He rode to Jerusalem on the Triumphal entry, He sat on a colt (a simple animal not for war). Therefore, in the letter of Paul to the Philippian brethren, he says: “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”, (Phil. 2:8-11).
I think, part of the problem both in the world and in the Church today is that of pride, arrogance. People tend sometimes to rate themselves more highly than they ought to. Such people flaught their accomplishments/achievements, status, titles and boast about them. They hardly can be controlled or listen to people, they have arrived. In the ministry we have some proud people. They pick and choose posting where they wish to serve, it is not in their favour they can organize protests, petition writing and so a discord in a Church. The Canonical nature of our job entails, wherever you are sent, you go with prayerful good wishes. After all, ministry is measured not by educational or material acquisition but by degree of faithfulness. Church workers should note that ministry is about humility and obedience. Remember, “what your certificate cannot give you, humility can give it to you”.
Also, members sometimes are not helping matters. Ministry is not civil service. In civil service, there may be rules and regulations, violations, infractions can cause trouble. The Church is run by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I know there are some if you drop them from Church positions, fail to recognize them or praise them well enough, they backslide. Some can stay away from the Lord’s table. Let it be stated that the Church belongs to God and Jesus bought it with His Blood. Pride, arrogance should not be part of its life.
In heaven there was a big rejoicing because Satan, former Choir master was cast down. He wanted to be calling the slots, himself and his demons were thrown down to the earth; Rev. 12:7-10. If we fail to deal with pride, it may ruin our chances of making heaven.
Jesus willingly, humbly, obediently washed the feet of His servants even though He was a master. God in response gave Him that highest name, at the mention of His name, every knee must bow and every tongue must confesses that He is Lord to the glory of the Father. Sing Ancient & Modern 225: 1,3, 6,7.
People of God, our God is still looking for men and women to enlist in His service, are you ready to be used by Him? Deal with pride, remember, He opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble, (James 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:5. Take a stand: Luke 15:18-19; 18:13-14. May the Holy Spirit assist us to follow in the footsteps of the Master. Amen!
VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,