Presidential Election Day. This is not a day for the humble of the world to be recognized, though someone may be humiliated and have to concede, making warm statements about their opponent that they do not truly believe in their heart. The candidates attempt to portray themselves as ordinary Americans… folks who hunt geese, eat McDonalds hamburgers, and have such a soft spot for children that it drives them to have to kiss every baby they see (kinda gross!).
But the fact is that any thoughtful person knows neither of these individuals is ever very ordinary. An incumbent president probably has not opened a door for himself or driven a vehicle in many years; and honestly, we really don’t see many financially ordinary folks who make it to this level.
I really do not begrudge a wealthy guy being my president. In fact, it is really a good thing that someone who has had to shuffle vast amounts of money and fight nasty business battles be the one to run our country, versus a peon like me.
Jesus is a walking, visible definition of power and strength. But what makes our hero the greatest is His new definition of what is true greatness. He told the disciples one day after hearing them argue over who among them was foremost, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35) The Gospel of Luke records the account this way…
LK 22:24 Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.
There is something so very compelling about a leader who yields his rights and instead takes a lower place. An excellent book on World War 1 naval conflict called “Castles of Steel” talks about the Commander in Chief of the British Grand Fleet – Admiral John Jellicoe. He was universally loved by all who served with him because of his caring ways and his personal knowledge of the name of every last seaman on his flagship – the Iron Duke.
There were occasions in our home over the years when the boys degenerated into an argument about who should be taking a turn this time to fold the laundry or empty the dishwasher. A couple of times I did not intervene in the conflict but simply rather got up and started doing it myself … which quickly sent a message to each boy and usually solicited universal assistance.
John 13:1 It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. 2 The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
Compelling leadership! We do not serve a master who is unable to understand us. He came to live with us, and be one of us.
HEB 2:14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil– 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. … 17 For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
Looking at the leadership at the top levels of authority in our country and world, I am going to keep Jesus Christ as my hero. He is the greatest! I can relate to Him with a sense that He will understand me and my struggles a whole lot more than some guy on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, the United Nations in New York, or at NATO headquarters in Belgium! Jesus is the greatest hero!