Daily Devotional for December 1
December 1 Matthew 20:17-28
Nowhere is the revolutionary nature of the Gospel of Jesus
Christ more apparent than in today's passage. Jesus reminds
us that great people "lord it over" others. But, he says, "It
shall not be so among you." He then goes on to explain the
astonishing reality of the new order that he brings to us:
"...whoever would be great among you must be your servant,
and whoever would be first among you must be your slave."
The Greek word in verse twenty-six that is translated "servant"
in the Revised Standard Version and "minister" in the King
James version is diaconos, from which the term "deacon" is
derived. This implies that every Christian is a deacon or
minister called by Christ to serve others. There is no higher
office in the realm of God; there is no greater title in the
Christian community. We may exalt titles like priest, bishop,
elder, or district coordinator, but the bold and compelling fact
of Christianity is that every follower of Christ who serves is
great in the eyes of God.
Sometimes we yearn for leadership, power, and fancy titles,
as James and John do here; but when we do, we forget the
teaching of Jesus that real power and leadership in the realm
of God is not entrusted to those who lust for power, but rather
to those who serve others with humility. Authentic leadership
implies responsibility and often carries with it a great deal of
stress and pain.
This revolutionary message flies in the face of all the world's
understanding of leadership and power. It is a message of
gentleness and peace, of service and love, of sensitivity and
Dear God, I thank you for leading us to a new
understanding of leadership and power. Help me to live
up to Christ's demanding example. Amen.
From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle
Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.