Jesus was a superhero. While on Earth, He could have done anything He wanted, any time He wanted. Think about when He did display the full range of His powers: calming the sea; feeding the 5,000; raising the dead. This is the Mighty Thor plus Gandalf plus Rambo with a big scoop of The Matrix.
Tell the people of Jerusalem, ‘Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey–riding on a donkey’s colt. – Matthew 21:5 (NLT)
On Palm Sunday, He could have charged into Jerusalem on a white horse or on a Harley. He could have flown in like Iron Man.
But He didn’t. He came in humbly, fulfilling Scripture, on a young donkey. He knew what He had to do didn’t include a climactic fight scene in an abandoned warehouse in the middle of the Old City. This wasn’t The Expendables BC.
Fast-forward to now and the lesson to be drawn from Jesus’ donkey trot into the final week of His life.
It’s Foundation One of the Whole Donkey life: Humility and Servant Leadership.
You and I don’t have a 1,000th of the power that Jesus had when we walked the planet, yet it’s easy for us to wield what little we have like it was an emotional bazooka. There is no subtlety in arrogance.
Think you know more than your wife? KA-BOOM! Hit her with the bazooka of your dominance.
Think you know more than your boss? KA-BOOM! Blow them away with the bazooka of resentment and back-biting.
Think you know more than your customers? KA-BOOM! Mow them down with your ego, but make sure they send you a check first.
The gap between a lack of humility and what we really feel inside is what gets us though. I can speak from experience. A lack of humility is often a mask for the quivering legs of someone full of self-doubt. Fake it ’til you make it? More like fake it until no one around you can take it.
What the Palm Sunday story tells us instead is that there is no benefit in the pomp and parade that many expected from a figure like Christ entering the city. Instead, the value comes from what he was there to do: humbly fulfill his duty to God, through his sacrifice on the cross. This wasn’t about an outward (or superficial) display of power, but it was about how he could best do the work that needed to be done for those around Him.
What does it means on the Whole Donkey journey?
- We need lead with our lives and our love instead of the words that our coming out of our mouth.
- We need to be the ones taking one for the team. Don’t blame your employees, your spouse or your kids for something that went wrong. Step up.
- Give more attention than you want to get.
- Jesus was never trying to “win” for Himself. Jesus was doing what he could to make literally everyone else the winners.
- We need to serve the people who have honored us and our companies with their business. There are so many other choices that clients and customers can make these days. But they choose us.
We have a perfect model in how to lead trough being servants to those around us. And that’s what is truly heroic.
“… just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20:28
QUESTION: What do you to try to remain humble as a leader?
About this blog series: This is the first in a series of four blogs about the foundations of WholeDonkey.org. Whole Donkey blogger Mike Koehler is working to help himself and other men live fuller lives as Christian dads, husbands and men.
This website is built around four Biblical foundations, all based on stories of donkeys in Scripture. Those foundations are Humility and Servant Leadership (Christ rides a donkey into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday); Supporting Your Wife and Family (Mary rides a donkey to Bethlehem); Fighting For What’s Right (Samson slays the Philistine army with the jawbone of a donkey) and Contentment (Moses says “Don’t covet your neighbor’s donkey.”)
The rest of the series will appear Mondays throughout December. Subscribe to the site to read them as they are published.