Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The lords of the Gentiles

Sphere: Related Content “But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you;…” Matt 20:25-26 RSV

The Lord Jesus has just finished telling the disciples what would happen to Him in Jerusalem, "We are going up to Jerusalem," he said, "and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise." Mark 10:33-34 NIV. The next thing we would expect from people close to Him would be to be concerned and sober thinking about what He said. But the disciples had a warped understanding about the mission of Jesus. They thought He was going to receive a physical kingdom in Jerusalem. They began to engage in power tussle about who would sit at His right or left side and who is the greatest. The Lord used the opportunity to teach us the rare principle that we are in dire need of today.

The rulers of the Gentiles are worldly rulers, kings, princes and lords who throw their weight around and glory in their titles rather than serving their people. They love the favours that their positions carry and ignore the responsibilities attached to them. The Lord said that in the world, they are permitted to do these things but among God’s people, it is not permitted. The challenge we have today is, “do we carry on like the rulers of the Gentiles among God’s people?”

In the world, there is hero-worship, but among God’s people, it is not permitted. Sadly, we have among us some leaders who act like the lords of the Gentiles. Exercising their authority is more important to them than giving exemplary leadership. There are people that carry themselves as if they are sacred untouchable cows. They act God among God’s people. They question and require accountability from those under them but nobody questions what they themselves do and are accountable to nobody. They create an atmosphere of fear around them.

The Lord Jesus said that among His people, it shall not be so. As a senior pastor, the junior pastors should not be afraid of you as if you are a masquerade and a tyrant. As a District Pastor, Archdeacon or Bishop, the pastors under you should not be afraid of you as if you are their God, the Alpha and Omega they know, the same way the heathen fear their gods. This is a deception and any leader who accepts it is deceived. People you lead should not be afraid to share their hearts with you. They should be able to access you as a father. Release them and create the window for them to be able to tell you the truth always even when it hurts. This does not come naturally. You intentionally create it and continually strip yourself of any attachment and dependency that puts you in God’s position. There are some denominational systems that make it very difficult for leaders to be servants, but it is the duty of the leader who wants to be like Jesus to take certain firm decisions. This you must do for the sake of your own soul.

When you act as a lord, you will end up surrounding yourself with yes men, sycophants who cannot ask you any questions concerning your actions, with all due respect. Sincere men will be very far from you and we know that deception leads to no other destination than destruction. The example that Jesus left for us is so amazing. Do you realize that He made Himself so simple that Judas had to use a sign to identify Him to those that came to arrest Him that night? No wonder Paul said that “He made Himself of no reputation”.

The Lord Jesus has not called us to wield power and authority around His people, like they do in the world, but to serve them willingly, not greedy for money but eager to serve, not lording it over those entrusted to us but being examples to them. (1 Peter 5:2-30).

Please some things I share here may make some people very uncomfortable. However, you can send me your feedback. It is better we deal with these ‘uncomfortable issues’ here and settle them than living in deception only for God to raise them when we stand before Him. By that time, it becomes too late to make amend. God bless!
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