“Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave” (Matthew 20:26-27, NLT).
Jesus told His disciples in private of His impending death and resurrection. In Matthew each prediction of Jesus’ suffering is connected to instruction about discipleship in light of suffering.
After the private meeting with His disciples, the mother of James and John came to Jesus and requested that her sons sit at Jesus’ right and left hands in His Kingdom. Jesus replied that was a decision made by the Heavenly Father.
When the other disciples heard of the request, they were indignant and probably argued among themselves. Jesus then called them together and defined the primary qualification for leadership in His Kingdom: a leader must be a servant.
“And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.” (Ezekiel 22:30, ESV).
The walls surrounding a city were its main lines of defense in ancient times. A breach or gap in the wall around a city had to be closely guarded as a possible entry point by an enemy until the breach could be repaired.
“Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3, ESV).
Being the humblest person on earth is not a character trait we usually associate with Moses. Moses was a great leader of the Israelites, so we assume he had to be assertive, a Type A personality.
After all, to be an effective leader you can’t be humble and expect people to follow.