Whoever Would Be Great


As I consider everything unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico I cannot help but think of the statements Jesus made to his disciples in Mark 10 regarding the pursuit of and use of power. Beginning in verse 42 Jesus states: You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.

Can I just say that the power-mongering of which Jesus speaks is all I see happening with the oil spill—rulers, whether they be the executives of BP or of the United States, merely playing games with authority, lording themselves over the entire matter but accomplishing little or nothing of meaningful substance? I am not sure what is worse: the disgusting oil invading the sugar white sands and marvelous marshes of the gulf coast, or the disgusting attitudes and persistent equivocating of too many who could otherwise rally the world to fight the spill. I for one am not looking for perfect solutions. I am just looking for servant-leadership of a stellar kind.

Jesus offers a better solution than rulers who are all about lording themselves over people and circumstances. Consider verses 43-44: 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 bondslave to all. Perhaps if all of the supposed executives, whether of corporations or countries, would seek to serve interests well beyond themselves, then an entire region, already haunted by the lingering hurt of Katrina, could move forward with confidence and hope. If nothing else, watching everything and everyone related to this whole matter in the gulf has provided significant reminders to me about what leadership is. And is not.


  1. Stephen St John says:

    Thanks for this Matthew. I have been troubled watching the news about this, but haven’t quite been able to figure out why (aside from the damage done by the disaster). I think you have cleared things up a bit here. Is is sad to see so many influential people preoccupied with “How will this effect my image?” or “How will this hurt our bottom line?” rather than really caring about others. There certainly is a leadership lesson here. Someone needs to put two hands on these guys’ shoulders and remind them, “It’s not about YOU!”

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