Although the English word “minister” today carries connotations of dignity and authority in both the ecclesiastical and the political spheres, its Greek antecedent typically referred to a household servant who waited on the master, his family, and their guests at meals. The mindset appropriate to a servant’s place was concern for others and their needs, not preoccupation with one’s own personal fulfillment, rights, or recognition. In other cultures and communities, the perks of religious leadership may be wealth, honor, and influence. The power to guide others’ lives, to have others listen to you, respect you, foloow your adivce, and do your bidding is very alluring. In the community ruled by Jesus, however, accepted assumptions about leaders and followers are reversed: “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be a slave of all” (Mark 10:43-44)

-Dennis E Johnson, His We Proclaim: Preaching Christ from All the Scriptures (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R, 2007), 93.

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