My Bible readings on Friday, the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th President of the USA, included Matthew 20 in which Jesus talks about power and true leadership. In verse 25 He warns that “the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them”. However, Jesus says that, in God’s kingdom, leadership is radically different – “whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave” (v26,27). Jesus Himself, of course, is the perfect model of this because He “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (v28).
If you listened to Donald Trump’s inaugural speech you surely noticed the stark contrast with the Lord’s manifesto which He gave at the commencement of His public ministry. He described His Spirit-anointed mission as being to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom to the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour (Luke 4v18,19). Do you not rejoice with grateful hearts for such words in comparison with Friday’s rhetoric?
Donald Carson writes that “Christian leadership is profoundly self-denying for the sake of others, like Christ’s ultimate example of self-denial for the sake of others”. Of course, this principle also applies to all of God’s children.
We must pray for Donald Trump – and all ‘kings’ – as stated by Paul in 1 Timothy 2v1-4 (verses which were also read at Friday’s ceremony). Let us pray that our leaders will be true servants, following in the footsteps of our Lord and seeking to advance His mission.
Peace and Grace