READ: Psalm 18, Isaiah 13-15, John 11, Revelation 19
JESUS THE FIERCE
Much has been written and taught on servant-leadership. The hyphenation of the term is indicative of problematic thinking. In the Bible no such concept exists as relates to Jesus. There is leadership and there is servanthood in Scripture–both of which are real and which complement each other by being different, not by being combined. Today Jesus is heralded as the great servant leader, which is nonsense. Jesus is the leader. We are the servants. The tremendous power in Jesus girding Himself with a towel and washing feet was precisely this: Jesus is NOT our servant–Jesus is our leader. Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and for Him to serve us is an aberration, an unthinkable aberration, an aberration which consumed but seconds out of an eternity of omnipotent and absolute rule. God does not exist to serve man. When we get to heaven, Jesus will not serve us–we will eternally serve Him! Do we really think Jesus will be running around eternity, girded with a towel and washing the feet of the redeemed?
Revelation 19:11-16 is then a revelation to us, an unveiling of who Jesus is. Jesus in righteousness judges and makes war (v. 11). Jesus has eyes like a flame of fire, searing into and through the souls of men (v. 12). Jesus has a robe dipped in blood, the evidence of dead enemies slain by God’s anger (v. 13). Jesus will strike the nations and rule them with a rod of iron (v. 15). Jesus Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God (v. 15)! Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords (v. 16). Does this describe a servant? This Jesus, this fierce, authoritative Jesus, this Jesus before whom elders and living creatures fall and worship, is no servant.
A high view of Jesus heightens the wonder of incarnation and the cross. We cannot truly appreciate the lowliness and sacrifice of God if we do not start with the central reality of His magnitude and sovereign absolute authority over us. Jesus is King and we tremble before Him. It is horrific to think of Jesus serving man, yet this is what man has reduced Jesus to: a genie who answers their prayers and washes their feet. God have mercy on us all. The incarnation of God should agonize us. It is so painfully out of character for who God is–this is its glory and wonder. How dare we approach incarnation casually, without a sense of grateful horror.
We all lead and we all serve. Let us not diminish either by combining them. We lead those we serve and we serve those we lead. Let us certainly not reduce Jesus to a servant in any sense. Jesus sits atop the eternal chain of authority. ALL serve Jesus. Jesus serves none. To view Jesus as a servant is animism at best and idolatry at least.