Jesus’ servant-way among us…

Written by on March 4, 2011

…in a culture in which there is an enormous attention to leadership, it is essential that we take a long hard look at what is previous and foundational to leadership, namely, “followership” — following Jesus (Mark 1:17) Eugene Peterson

I was re-reading some of our Equipping Experience curriculum this morning and I was again reminded of how much Jesus challenges our dominant understandings and practices of life and leadership today. Jesus’ words in the Upper Room, “but not so with you…I am among you as one who serves” (Luke 22:24-27) continue to echo through our communities. Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann tells us that prophets in the Scriptures offered an alternative portrait of life that criticized the way people were living as well as energized them to a new way of living.[1] In this Upper Room encounter, Jesus criticized all prevailing notions of status and power and authority. And in this encounter, Jesus energized his disciples with a new vision of authority and influence…

His vision of authority was not only characteristic of his own life when he walked through first century Judea and Galilee, but his vision is also characteristic of those who have expressed Jesus’ way in the world in the centuries since then. Wherever the Spirit of God moves, lives of deep servanthood and humility mark the landscape. One finds something like “a family resemblance” to Jesus in this regard. Jesus’ words from the Upper Room remain critical and energizing to us today. Where is this Spirit of Jesus moving in your community? 

[1] Walter Brueggemann, The Prophetic Imagination: Second Edition, (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001), 3. “The task of prophetic ministry is to nurture, nourish, and evoke a consciousness and perception alternative to the consciousness and perception of the dominant culture around us…The alternative consciousness to be nurtured, on the one hand, serves to criticize in dismantling the dominant consciousness…On the other hand, that alternative consciousness to be nurtured serves to energize persons and communities by its promise of another time and situation toward which the community of faith may move.”

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